Antwerp Six designer Dries Van Noten announces retirement

Dries Van Noten, one of the renowned group of designers known as the Antwerp Six, has announced he is stepping down as a designer at his eponymous fashion house in June, fashion magazine WWD reports on Tuesday. 

Van Noten is one of Belgium’s best-known designers. He graduated from the Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp in the early 1980s, as did his contemporaries Dirk Bikkembergs, Ann Demeulemeester, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Van Saene and Marina Yee. They became known as the Antwerp Six after they made an unexpected collective impact at London Fashion Week in 1986. 

Born into a family of tailors, Van Noten has had his own label since 1985, which today has shops around the world.

"As a young guy from Antwerp, my dream was to have a voice in fashion"

“I have been preparing for this moment for a while, and I feel it’s time to leave room for a new generation of talents to bring their vision to the brand,” Van Noten told WWD. “As a young guy from Antwerp, my dream was to have a voice in fashion … Now I want to shift my focus to all the things I never had the time for. I’m sad, but at the same time happy.”

In 2018, he sold a majority stake in his fashion house to Spanish group Puig to ensure continuity after his eventual departure. He remained a shareholder, chair of the board and chief creative officer.

His last work will be a men’s collection for the spring-summer 2025 season, and a successor is being sought.

Van Noten has received numerous awards over the course of his career, including the International Award of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the Gold Medal of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and Arts. In Belgium, he was awarded the title of baron in 2017, and in France he has held the title of Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres since 2015. 


#FlandersNewsService | Dries Van Noten at Paris Fashion Week, February 2024 © JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP

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