In 1985, Ann Demeulemeester launched her eponymous label with her husband, Patrick Robyn. Heavily influenced by punk culture and gothic and Japanese styles, the Ann Demeulemeester aesthetic was hugely distinctive. By the late 1990’s, Ann Demeulemeester added a menswear line to join her womenswear collection, both of which adopted her constructivist approach. Androygynous and edgy, the signature Ann Demeulemeester style is instantly recognisable. Having left the Beligian label in 2013, Claudio Antonioli bought the company in 2020, which is yet to appoint a Creative Director.
Claudio Antonioli is intent on honouring Ann Demeulemeester’s house codes. As a huge fan of the brand himself, Antonioli is in contact with Demeulemeester to ensure that the new collections stay true to the label’s roots and styles. The Fall 2021 show was designed by Olivier Rizzo, a decision which Antonioli had made with Demeulemeester’s ardent blessing.
With the brand’s history and traditions of utmost importance, Ann Demeulemeester today is still gothic and romantic with their typical gender-fluidity seen throughout. Continuing to produce menswear, womenswear, shoes and accessories, the new collections are mainly monochromatic, balancing the light and dark to create radical styles. Chunky black boots, dark, ruffled velvets and romantically draped dresses make for wearable yet bold designs. Sharp tailoring of trousers and blazers, as well as unconventional asymmetric cuts add a high-fashion element to the dark aesthetic. Luxuriously moody, Ann Demeulemeester has been reinterpreted with the modern man and woman in mind. Their collections are characteristic of the brand’s formative years, continuing to challenge convention while remaining stylish and widely appealing.
Ann Demeulemeester collections are available online through their website, and through Matches Fashion, Yoox and Farfetch.