Designers: "Antwerp Six" - 4me4you

4me4you features the "Antwerp Six".

Who is in the Antwerp Six?

Ann Demeulemeester, Marina Yee, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dirk Van Saene, and Walter Van Beirendonck.

Enter the avant-garde realm of the fashion universe and meet the legendary Antwerp Six

Ann Demeulemeester, Marina Yee, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dirk Van Saene, and Walter Van Beirendonck. These trailblazing designers emerged from the prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, propelling themselves into the global spotlight with their boundary-pushing collections that defied the conventions of the 1980s fashion scene.

Picture a small van packed with unknown graduates from Antwerp arriving at the British Designer Show. In just three days, they skyrocketed from anonymity to being stocked at iconic retailers like Barneys, Bergdorf, and Liberty of London. The media stratosphere eagerly embraced their avant-garde creations, marking the meteoric rise of the Antwerp Six.

  • Ann Demeulemeester, known for her military-inspired boots, graphic prints, and grunge/dark themes that are showcased within her designs. Although she left the brand in 2013, she still oversees special projects, such as creating the house’s very first perfume and is currently collaborating with Serax, a Belgian B2B interior design company to create homeware and lighting ranges.
  • Dries Van Noten, known for intricate cuts and silhouettes. His attention to detail and his knowledge of the importance of tailoring is showcased within his work.
  • Dirk Van Saene, is an artist that utilizes his love for painting in every one of his collections by featuring hand-painted clothing and printed reproductions of his work onto fabric to create garments that are truly one of a kind. Van Saene’s sculptures and paintings have been independently showcased at the Gallery Sofie Van de Velde, located in Antwerp.
  • Walter Van Beirendonck, graduating alongside Martin Margiela, one of fashion’s most influential designers.  He has created a capsule collection for IKEA and he was the fashion advisor for U2, an Irish rock band from Dublin, featuring Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr., where he created costumes for their 1997 PopMart tour. As a long time professor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, he has dedicated most of his career to mentoring young designers and artists such as Raf Simons and Kris Van Assche. 
  • Dirk Bikkembergs inspired by athleticism and loungewear aided him in forming Bikkembergs Sport in 2000, which hosted fashion shows at iconic sports arenas such as Camp Nou – F.C. Barcelona.
  • Marina Yee, founded her label called Marie, however she never showcased any of her designs at the big fashion capitals because she always desired to keep her business small. Much of her work is cantered around the thought of being sustainable and her designs focus on up-cycling and restoring vintage garments.

Inspired by both fashion and music, the Antwerp Six absorbed new currents and names during their travels to fashion capitals like London and New York. Punk and the New Romantic movement left an indelible mark on their creative journey, influencing their distinctive styles.

Each member of the Antwerp Six brought their unique strengths and talents to form a powerful collective presence.

Ann Demeulemeester, recognised for military-inspired boots and dark themes, co-launched her brand and continues to leave her imprint on the industry.

Dries Van Noten, born into a family of tailors, captivates with intricate cuts and silhouettes, remaining a significant shareholder in his eponymous brand.

Dirk Van Saene; an artist who intertwines his love for painting with fashion, creates one-of-a-kind garments featuring hand-painted elements.

Walter Van Beirendonck, the oldest member, mentors the next generation of designers as the head of the Fashion Department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

Dirk Bikkembergs, already an established designer before joining the Antwerp Six, garnered recognition for his iconic men’s shoe collection.Marina Yee, the most elusive member, focuses on sustainability and up-cycling, creating alluring pieces in her small-scale business.


In a pre-internet fashion era, the Antwerp Six emerged, showcasing collections on runways before reaching a wider audience through magazines.

Today’s accelerated fashion pace prompts them to advocate for a return to mystery and a conscious slowdown, echoing Marina Yee’s call for “slow and silent fashion” through up-cycling and scaled-down collections.

The enduring influence of the Antwerp Six stands as a testament to the profound impact of creativity and the boundless opportunities for innovation within the realm of fashion. Across the globe, designers draw inspiration from their legacy, urging them to embrace audacity, question conventional norms, and fearlessly push the boundaries of what can be achieved in the world of fashion. This ongoing inspiration reinforces the notion that their significance remains as potent today as it did during the groundbreaking era of the 1980s.