Dries Van Noten
Dries Van Noten is a designer constantly inspired by the depth and richness the world has to offer. Born and raised in Antwerp, Belgium, he is the third generation in a family of tailors and was heavily influenced by his parents’ high-end retail shops in Antwerp. At age 18 he entered the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts to study fashion design.
Dries showed his first collection in 1986 during London’s fashion week, along with five other designers in a collective now known as the Antwerp Six. These avant-garde designers from the Antwerp Royal Academy are famous for their daring, sophisticated and deconstructivist designs. Today Dries Van Noten is an icon in the industry, celebrating his 100th show in 2017.
Truly an artistic genius, Dries nimbly blends ancient and modern styles while mixing a sense of humility into his operatic designs. Because prints and pattern are central to his collections, Dries is personally involved in designing over 90% of the fabric, imbuing the collections with his signature lush complexity and setting the global standard for print design. Renowned for his comfort with juxtaposition, his fabric design seems to embody perfection while simultaneously breaking all the rules. His voice is remarkably distinct and completely independent, creating glamour, contesting notions of masculinity and femininity and even guiding us to reconsider how we define beauty.
Embroidery is as central to Dries’ designs as his reputation for print. Fascinated with the traditional, colorful artisan techniques he saw on his travels to India in the 80s, Dries has carefully nurtured a relationship working with the same family-owned business in Calcutta, India, for several decades. Dries ensures there is embroidery in each collection, whether bold and brassy or nearly invisible, because of his deep commitment and responsibility to provide stable work for the 3,000 employees in India.
Beyond fashion, DVN’s work has a real artistic soul that speaks to people of all ages around the world. He explores design from different and diverse cultures to create a new global aesthetic that can be appreciated from Dubai to Tokyo to Paris. DVN inspires devotion to his innovative designs while also challenging us to understand the world in new ways. He is a bold leader in his industry and a thoughtful and humble citizen of the world.