Industry News

Dries Van Noten Steps Down as Creative Director After 38 Years

Dries Van Noten steps down
CREDIT: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Dries Van Noten to show his final show in June at Mens Fashion Week in Paris.

After nearly four decades at the helm of his eponymous label, Dries Van Noten, the celebrated Belgian designer, has announced his departure as Creative Director. The news, confirmed by Van Noten himself to WWD, has sent shockwaves throughout the fashion industry, marking the end of an era for one of the most influential voices in contemporary fashion.

The designer’s final collection for the House will be presented at Paris Fashion Week Men’s in June 2024, marking the end of an era. Van Noten’s Spring/Summer 2025 menswear collection will be his last, while the internal design team will take the lead on the women’s line, set to debut in September.

In his statement to WWD, Van Noten expressed his readiness to pass the baton, saying, “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.” He expressed confidence in his studio team, with whom he has closely collaborated over the years, to craft the upcoming women’s collection.

While Van Noten will step away from his role as Creative Director, he will remain involved with the brand he has nurtured since its inception in 1986. “I will stay involved in the house that I treasure so much,” he reassured, hinting at a potential advisory or ambassadorial role within the company.

Dries Van Noten’s eponymous label, headquartered in Antwerp, made its Paris Fashion Week debut in 1992 and has since become synonymous with bold prints, patterns, and exotic silhouettes that make a distinct statement. The brand’s aesthetic, rooted in Van Noten’s visionary design philosophy, has garnered a loyal following worldwide, particularly among fashion enthusiasts who appreciate the designer’s unique blend of creativity, craftsmanship, and individuality.

Throughout his tenure, Van Noten has been celebrated for his ability to push boundaries while remaining true to his artistic vision. His collections have often been described as a celebration of diversity, with a signature style that seamlessly blends different cultures, eras, and influences. From the rich tapestry of colors and textures to the intricate detailing and unexpected silhouettes, each Dries Van Noten creation is a masterpiece in its own right.

Beyond his creative genius, Van Noten has also been praised for his commitment to sustainability and ethical practices within the fashion industry. He has been a vocal advocate for slow fashion, emphasizing the importance of quality over quantity and encouraging consumers to invest in timeless pieces that transcend fleeting trends.

In 2018, Puig, a prominent fashion and fragrance company, acquired a majority stake in Dries Van Noten. This strategic partnership was seen as a significant move for the brand, providing the resources and support necessary to continue its growth and expansion while preserving its unique identity.

Marc Puig, Chairman and CEO of Puig, expressed the company’s commitment to preserving Van Noten’s legacy, stating, “It is a distinct honor for Puig to now be entrusted with carrying his legacy into the future, and a unique responsibility we will treasure as a new and exciting chapter opens for both Dries and the brand.”

As the fashion world eagerly awaits the announcement of Van Noten’s successor, the designer’s departure marks the end of an iconic era. His influence on the industry and his commitment to pushing boundaries have left an indelible mark, and his legacy will undoubtedly continue to shape the future of fashion.

For aspiring designers and fashion enthusiasts alike, Van Noten’s journey serves as a source of inspiration, highlighting the power of staying true to one’s creative vision while continuously evolving and adapting to the ever-changing landscape of the industry. His ability to balance artistic expression with commercial success has set a benchmark for generations to come.

As the curtain falls on this chapter, the fashion world eagerly anticipates the next act in the Dries Van Noten story. Who will take up the mantle and continue to push the boundaries of creativity and innovation? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain: the legacy of Dries Van Noten will forever be woven into the fabric of fashion history.

Read the official WWD interview

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