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The unique story of fashion in Antwerp

There is no denying it, Antwerp is one of the trendiest, fashion-forward cities in the world. But why? The history of fashion in Antwerp is an interesting story spanning over centuries and featuring many prestigious fashions colleges and brands. It’s the people that make a place and our creative residents have come from across the world to study here. For a stylish, modern place to explore the fashion of Antwerp from, book your stay in PREMIER SUITES, within walking distance of all of the best attractions in the city and the most impressive train station in the country.

The History of Fashion in Antwerp

Antwerp is an eccentric and eclectic city and has a rich artistic history. Once an important port for cloth trade, it’s no surprise that Antwerp has had a long-held influence on fashion trends over the years. In the 1990s, a new generation of fashion talent emerged in the form of the Antwerp 6; something which made the world sit up and take notice. Today the city is home to The Fashion Department of Antwerp’s Academy of Fine Arts, one of the world’s most prestigious fashion programmes producing some of the world’s top designing talent. We’re also home to many designer flagship stores for both homegrown and international talent.

Study Fashion in Antwerp

Antwerp is home to one of the oldest and most well-respected fashion colleges in the world, Antwerp Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. The now-famous department was founded by Mary Prijot in 1963 where she taught young students sewing techniques following the strict rules of Parisian style. Her graduates were picked up by household names such as Versace and Dior. This marked a new chapter in the history of Antwerp Fashion. Today, many alumni from this prestigious institution go on to work for top world-renowned fashion houses or go on to create their own.

The Antwerp Six

In 1986, six young designers were more determined than anyone else to make their mark on the world. After graduating from Antwerp’s Academy of Fine Arts, they headed to London and became a fashion collective called the Antwerp 6.  Over the next 30 years, the designs of Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Van Saene, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Bikkembergs and Marina Yee changed the international fashion scene. Their distinct style, their respect for technical skill, quality materials, and their unique idea about the future of fashion helped them stand out in a saturated marketplace and create the very basis for Antwerp fashion. Many have since followed in their footsteps, graduating from the same fashion design course, and going on to become household names.

Fashion Events in Antwerp

Once a year, in June, the city is filled with art and fashion lovers for the SHOW, a showcase of the work from the year. Tickets are highly sought after, and people come from across the world to witness the stand our talent of the graduates from Antwerp. Another must-see for fashion enthusiasts is MoMu, Antwerp’s Fashion Museum. Twice a year, two themed shows are organised with a spotlight on a specific designer or a unique aspect of the industry.

Shopping in Antwerp

With such a positive reputation for style and fashion, you can imagine how fabulous shopping in Antwerp can be. You can even take part in an ‘Antwerp Fashion Walk’ helping you find the most famous and original stores. The centre of high-class shopping in Antwerp is located in Nationalestraat and the surrounding streets including Lombardenvest and Steenhouwersvest. You’ll find many top international designers including Dries van Noten, Christian Wijnants, A.F. Vandevorst, Stephan Schneider.

Closeby on Kammenstraat is a hipper and trendier place to shop with more edgy shops and boutiques rather than high fashion. You’ll find more than fashion here too, tattoo and piercing studios, a sci-fi and fantasy shop and plenty of original cafes and restaurants. It’s a perfect hipster neighbourhood.

If you’d like to experience the height of fashion in Antwerp for yourself, book your stay in PREMIER SUITES PLUS Antwerp. Our location close to the trendy Antwerpen-Centraal station is ideal to explore the best of the city, from shopping to sightseeing. Access our best available rates when you book directly with our team or on our website.


Learn all about PREMIER SUITES and discover things to do and see near our fantastic city centre locations.

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