about the designer
Born in Antwerp in 1958, Dries van Noten belongs to the third generation of a family of tailors. As a boy, he went with his father to see the shows and collections in Milan, Düsseldorf and Paris where he learnt all about the commercial and technical side of the profession. However, he soon decided that he was more interested in designing fashions than selling them. In 1976, at the age of 18, he entered the fashion design course of Antwerp’s Royal Academy. While continuing his studies, Van Noten began to work as a freelance designer for commercial collections for a Belgian manufacturer. This practical experience would prove invaluable when he started to produce and retail his own designs. The same year he met Christine Mathys who would be his business partner and tireless champion until her death in 1999.
After graduating, Dries Van Noten continued to freelance before going onto producing his own collection of blazers, shirts and trousers. The line met with almost immediate success on its launch in 1986 selling to prestigious customers like Barneys New York, Pauw in Amsterdam and Whistles in London.
In the same year, he founded his own independent brand, supported by Christine Mathys and Patrick Vangheluwe. He presented his first men's collection in London in 1986 together with other designers Walter Van Beirendonck, Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs and Marina Yee, who later formed "The Antwerp Six ", an informal group of young Belgian designers who become synonymous with avant-garde fashion .