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.

Dries van Noten

Dries van Noten, born in Belgium in 1958 started his career after graduating in 1980 from the Antwerp Fashion Academy. Before going onto producing his own collection, van Noten freelanced for some years. In 1986 he had his breakthrough with the presentation of his menswear in London, this year he also joined together with 5 other Antwerp designers, they are known as the Antwerp six. After this success he opened his own boutique in Antwerp with his women and men’s collections. Three years later he gave up his little boutique and moved his store to a five-storey department store. Because of his major success van Noten started opening stores all over the world; Paris, Milan, Tokyo , Hong Kong.
His designs are know for there informal mix of western and eastern or folkloric fabrics. Van Noten always had a passion for fabric, this is why he makes his clothes by hand. If you by a Van Noten piece you can be certain it is authentic. This famous designer gets his inspiration of his city, Antwerp where he lives and works. He states: "One of the big luxuries of being in Antwerp is that I can easily walk in the city. In Paris and New York I am more recognized." Watching people on the streets he says is his biggest stimulation.
Van Noten, who turned 50 last month, won the award of International Designer of the year 2008 from the Council of Fashion Designers of America.