Designer Dries Van Noten bids farewell to the catwalk

A big name in fashion is bowing out: Belgian designer Dries Van Noten presents his last show on Saturday evening, after a dazzling 40-year career.

In a bid to leave room for a new generation of talent to bring their vision to his brand, Van Noten announced his decision to quit in March, to the surprise of many. At the age of 66, he still runs a healthy business and he is more popular than ever. His beauty and perfume lines are as beloved as his designs, and there are outlets all over the world, from Los Angeles to Shanghai and from Tokyo to Paris.

On Saturday, Van Noten will once more create his own fashion fireworks, though no details have been released yet about the spring-summer 2025 show, which will take place in La Courneuve, north of Paris. It is expected to be a celebration of the Van Noten style: perfectly cut garments, colour combinations and bursts of fabrics and prints.

"After the show, I can finally make time for things that have been on my list for so long but were incompatible with my busy schedule"

“It is hovering between melancholy and joy, between doubt and certainty that I have made the right decision. After the show, I can finally make time for things that have been on my list for so long but were incompatible with my busy schedule,” Van Noten told De Tijd. While he will no longer be involved in creating the collection, he will continue to be involved in an advisory role.

In 2018, Van Noten partnered with Puig, the Spanish company that operates the Jean Paul Gaultier, Nina Ricci and Paco Rabanne brands and is best known for its perfumes and beauty. Puig acquired 70 per cent of the shares, while Van Noten remained an important minority shareholder with 30 per cent.

Shared vision

“To continue growing, we needed a strong partner,” said Van Noten. “An essential point was that the structure of the company would remain in Antwerp, so my people could stay on board. We also share the same vision about locations: Puig's shops are also located off the main streets. That reassured us that we would not be pressured into becoming a logo-driven brand.”

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. 


#FlandersNewsService | Dries Van Noten presents his work in Paris, 28 February 2024 © PHOTO ZEPPELIN / AVALO

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