The Antwerp Six is a group of influential avantgarde fashion designers that graduated from the Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts in the eighties. At the academy they were taught by Linda Loppa. The fashion collective presented a distinct radical vision for fashion during the 1980's that established Antwerp as a notable location for fashion design. The breakthrough occurred in 1988 as the group rented a truck and set out for the London fashion fair with their collections and have put this city on the fashionmap ever since. 

After that they all went their seperate ways and became famous individually with their own very distinct style and trademarks. Having done all of this they set an example for their continuators (such as Raf Simons, Veronique Branquinho, Kaat Tilley etc.) at the Flemish academies, and they set the - very solid - fundaments for the ferther growth of fashion in Antwerp.  

Since 2002 Antwerp has an actual, literal fashion centre: The ModeNatie (or fashion nation). In this exceptional building in the haert of the city, right next to van Noten's 'Fashion Paradise' their is a fashion school, a fashion museum and the Flanders Fashion Institute and recently also the biggest bootique of the Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto.

Dirk Bikkembergs

Dirk Bikkembergs was born in Cologne, Germany in 1959 where his Flemish father was stationed. Originally Bikkembergs was interested to attend law school because he found lawyers "so chic", although he chose studying at the Royal Academy. He graduated in 1982 and his carreer flew off in the year of 1986 when the 6 headed for London, and became 'The Six". But before going to London he had already won the 'Canette d'Or' award for Best Young Designer in Fashion, which abled him to create his own men's shoes collection.
Inspired by his youth, many of his lines reflect military basics on a deeper level, combined with the tough fabrics that he often uses. Interstingly enough his first women's collection was, apart from size, identical to his menswear.
Being a very dynamic designer, he is rarely seen in one place for more than a week, travelling from one fashion metropolitan to the next.

"I am married to fashion and will remain faithful."

He became very popular amongst youngsters when he launched his 'Bikkembergs Sport' fashion line, including the t-shirt with the famous footballer which lead to designing for the footballteam 'Inter Milan'. Thanks to his "sport-couture" he is the first designer who received permission to do a show in the FC Barcelona stadium 'Nou Camp'.