Dries van Noten
Born in Antwerp in 1958, Dries Van Noten is the third generation in a family of tailors. 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.
After graduating, Dries Van Noten continued to freelance before going onto producing his own collection of blazers, shirts and trousers. With his well-touted 1986 presentation of a men's collection in London, under the aegis of the Antwerp Six, Dries Van Noten received both recognition by the fashion press as well as his first store orders from such prominent retailers as Barneys New-York, Whistles in London and Pauw in Amsterdam. In September of the same year, Dries Van Noten opened a tiny eponymous boutique in Antwerp’s gallery arcade. Here he sold his men’s and women’s collections, which were initially made from the same fabrics. The August, 1989 opening of Dries Van Noten's Antwerp boutique, Het Modepaleis, marked a major turning point in the designer's career. The store spans three floors of a sweeping 1831 structure, and features the designer's collections-men's, women's and accessories. A new era began for Dries Van Noten, when in 1991, he staged a Paris runway show of his men's ready-to-wear collection. In 2008, he received the International Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America and in 2009, he was awarded the Gold Medal from the Flemish Royal Academy of Belgium. Like other fashion designers, Dries keeps busy with community events and in 2010 was the President of the Jury for the Hyères Fashion Festival.