dries van noten goodbye


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After 38 years of a long and brilliant career and over 100 collections, Dries Van Noten will take his final bow this summer. The Belgian designer announced he will be leaving his eponymous label by a letter published on Tuesday.

“Now, I want to shift my focus to all the things I never had the time for,” Van Noten wrote.

The acclaimed designer will step down in June, after nearly four decades in fashion, marking the end of an era. So his last show in his current role will be the men’s show for the spring 2025 season, scheduled for Paris Fashion Week.

In the hours following the surprise announcement, a lot of emotional and nostalgic reactions from industry insiders and fashion enthusiasts popped up. Van Noten represents a dying generation of designers, someone who creates high fashion but without ever losing touch with reality. His collections have made history for their unique balance between novelty and timelessness, between prints in contrasting colors and essential lines.

Going down in history as one of the original Antwerp Six, and arguably the one who had the most lasting impact on women’s and men’s clothing, Van Noten comes from a family of tailors and graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. He launched his menswear brand in 1986 and a few years later opened his flagship store, known as Het Modepaleis and located on the site of a historic department store, in his hometown.

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A beloved figure on the fashion scene, Van Noten has won numerous awards, including the WWD Honor as Designer of the Year in 2023 and the CFDA’s International Designer of the Year in 2008. He has also been honored by Fashion Group International, the Couture Council of the FIT Museum and the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium.

According to some sources, the search for a successor to Dries Van Noten had silently begun months ago.

“In due time, we will announce the designer who will continue the story,” Van Noten said in a statement shared exclusively with WWD. “I have been preparing for this moment for a while, and I feel it’s time to leave room for a new generation of talents to bring their vision to the brand.”

In his letter, Van Noten hailed his enduring audience, writing, “My heartfelt appreciation to everybody who loves what we do. Seeing our clothes out in the world, knowing they have a place in your life, has fulfilled me beyond words.”

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