Ann Demeulemeester once told an interviewer that women are not like Barbie dolls, and that she finds a subtle femininity in men most pleasing. Inevitably, then, her own designs for both sexes are far removed from the types of clothing in which bimbos and bimbos might typically attire themselves. Hers is a far more personal, subtle and emotional aesthetic, one frequently, and lazily, labelled as androgynous, but which could more accurately be termed as romantically modernist.
Born in Belgium, in 1959, Demeulemeester went on to study at Antwerp’s Royal Academy, from which she graduated in 1981, as part of the now-legendary Antwerp Six group of designers.
In 1985 she launched her own label, along with her husband Patrick Robyn – a man she has cited as her biggest influence – and made her womenswear debut in Paris in 1993. By 1996 she would also be designing menswear collections.