Dries Van Noten is a Belgian designer who was born on May 12, 1958, in Antwerp, Belgium. This Belgian designer takes advantage of the winter atmosphere to create the most beautiful designs with faux fur touch. He uses faux fur as a distinctive style for oversized coats to winter jackets and continues to be inspired by animal prints and ethical material. He wants to show that animal prints are something elegant compared to using genuine animal hair.
He is the owner of the eponymous fashion brand along with his CEO and business partner Christine Mathys in 1986, and he is also one of the designers who are members of the ‘Antwerpen Six’ design collective that elevates Belgium’s profile as a center for forward-thinking men and women . “We stimulate each other and there is competition between us, but that is very constructive competition,” he explained about the origin of the eponymous design.
In 2005, The New York Times described it as one of the smartest fashion designers. His style is “eccentric”, although he had been disliked during the long period of minimalist fashion in the early 1990s, but he again hit the fashion world in the mid-2000s and experienced the peak of his career after receiving the International Fashion Design Board in 2008. In the same year, he designed the clothes of actress Cate Blanchett for the Academy Awards and continued to dress them up for other red carpet events since then. Other important customers include Queen Mathilde from Belgium and actress Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Dries Van Noten and His Childhood
The father of Van Noten found a men’s clothing store and his grandfather was a tailor. He graduated from the Antwerp Academy in 1980 and began his career in 1986 when he presented his first men’s clothing collection in London as part of the ‘Antwerpen Six’ group.
The exhibition earned him orders from Barney New York and continues to sell his merchandise regularly and creates four collections a year for both male and female collections for summer and winter.
His work does not offer haute couture so all the designs are ready-made designs and available in retail. “I am a little naive but I don’t like the idea of showing things you don’t sell at the store,” Van Noten said. His work mostly uses animal print, original fabric, and layering.
Van Noten works and lives in Antwerp, but he has shops in many locations throughout the world. The first store was opened in Antwerp in 1989, “Het Modepaleis”. The boutiques in Hong Kong and Tokyo also followed. In early 2007, a store opened in Paris, decorated with antiques collected by Van Noten and his colleague Patrick Vangheluw and another shop in Singapore. The brands have 400 fashion stores around the world and have quite fantastic annual sales of around 30 million euros.
Dries Van Noten and Sustainability Mission
His opinion on sustainable fashion, “Most of what we currently call sustainable fashion is a contradiction in terms. This refers to how the fabric used for new clothing has been produced. However, I am sure, we need to consider this problem from a more macro and deep perspective. Even though cotton may not be bleached, we need to check how it gets to the factory or to us as the customers. What is the ‘carbon footprint’ of shipping, for example? “This is the opinion of Dries Van Noten about the importance of us as buyers to find the origin of our fashion items.