Van Noten

Dries (1958). Belgian fashion designer. The son of a tailor and a seamstress, he graduated from the Royal Academy of Arts in Antwerp. He is one of the founding fathers of the stylistic nouvelle vague that that school engendered and the leader of the so-called “Sextet of Antwerp.” While he was still a student, he caught the notice of buyers from the New York department store Barneys and from the store Whistles; they purchased his entire first sample-collection. In 1985, he created a small outpost in Antwerp, a boutique, and in 1986, he debuted on the runways of London, with a menswear collection. In Spring of 1987 he presented his prêt-à-porter womenswear collection. Five years later, he arrived in Paris. An eccentric, but a restrained one, he chooses classical forms and fabrics and then diversifies and develops them with original ideas and with great sartorial skill. His collections are always experimental, but they also respond to a shrewd commercial policy. He has three single-label shops and is present in 500 sales outlets around the world.
&Quad;1999, September. The book Dries Van Noten: shape, print and fabric, is published, a tribute by Andrew Tucker to the creative processes of the Belgian fashion designer, more than to the production itself.
&Quad;For the Fall-Winter 1999-2000 season, the fashion designer brought to the runway the monastic-mediaeval style of outfits in clinging wool. While the felt jackets are very reminiscent of Balenciaga, the velvet skirts and the tops with gilded embroideries are typical of Van Noten.
&Quad;The catalogue of products by the Belgian fashion designer is one of the most interesting in the Fall-Winter 2003 season, after the ones put out by Blumarine and Roberto Cavalli. This was the response from the survey conducted by Fashion magazine among the 70 most prominent retailers in Italy. Dolce & Gabbana stand out in the categories of sell out and creativity.

Van den Akker

Koos (1930). Designer of Dutch descent, he is the creator of patchwork outfits, decorated with overlapping fabrics, inserts and variegated motifs. After studying at the Academy of the The Hague, where he was born, he moved to Paris where he was hired by the house of Dior. When he returned to Holland, he opened a boutique but decided to try his luck in America. It was 1968. His embroidered fabrics were so popular that he quickly succeeded in opening a number of shops in Manhattan and creating a prêt-à-porter label. The immense personality of his creations, in particular his collage outfits, lay the foundation for his success. In recent years, he has downsized his operations considerably, but he still has a boutique of his own in Greenwich Village.


Vannina (1974). Russian fashion designer. She has been in business for a number of years in Paris, she specializes in the concept of mix-lingerie, because the “top” is designed but so is the “bottom.” Since 2003, she has had a Paris boutique in the Rue des Saints-Pères. She especially designs outfits made of silk, ispired by “pajamas,” baby dolls, and corsetry, boxers and bustiers.


Miguel (1966). Portuguese fashion designer. Born on the island of Madeira, he studied art and design and took a course in textile quality-control in Oporto. He has worked in the world of fashion since 1988. In 1989 he began to design his own collection, which was characterized by an elevated level of elegance and personality. Beginning in 1991 he debuted on the runways of Portugal. In recent years, he has expanded his line, including a number of items of sportswear and an array of accessories that range from shoes to bags in all shapes and sizes. Of particular note is his collaboration on the design of Guess! shoes.