Ann Demeulemeester is the eponymous fashion house founded in 1985 by Belgian designer Ann Demeulemeester. Known for her elegant cuts and dark yet glamorous aesthetic, the designer has become one of the world’s most respected creative voices in the fashion industry. Based in Antwerp, the label offers clothing, shoes, accessories and jewellery for women and men.
“The Ann Demeulemeester brand has come to represent an intelligent approach to fashion – rising above trends and instead offering a continually evolving system of dressing that is both deeply personal to the wearer and profoundly relevant to its context – thanks to its integrity and fierce independence,” the label describes on its own website.
Ann Demeulemeester graduated from the now infamous fashion department of the Royal Academy of Fine Art in Antwerp in 1981 and shortly after became known as part of the Antwerp Six, a group of visionary graduates of the university which also included Martin Margiela and Dries Van Noten.
Together with her husband, photographer Patrick Robyn, she founded her namesake label in 1985 and soon gained international recognition. Her first fashion show took place in Paris in 1991. In 1996, she launched a menswear collection in addition to her womenswear collection.
Over time, Ann Demeulemeester was able to build an internationally successful business with her gothic and bohemian-inspired collections. In 2013, Demeulemeester retired from her label and appointed French designer Sébastien Meunier, who had been part of her design team since 2010, as her successor.
Since parting ways with her brand, Demeulemeester has lived in the small Belgian town of Kessel and experimented with a variety of new formats, including sculpture, tableware, furniture and design.
Since 2020, the Ann Demeulemeester brand is owned by Italian Claudio Antonioli and operates three independent stores in Antwerp, Tokyo and Hong Kong. The highlight is the minimalist, black and white flagship store in Antwerp. The label also has its own online shop and is sold internationally at the most important retailers and department stores.