Every week, we at Highsnobiety take some time to highlight one of our favorite brands through our BOTW (Brand of the Week) series. Last week, we featured politically conscious label Tourne de Transmission. This week, we’ve decided to shine a light on Dries Van Noten's eponymous brand.
Born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1958, Dries Van Noten hails from a family of notable tailors. The Belgian designer spent his formative years helping out at family-run fashion boutiques, naturally giving young Van Noten a head-start in the industry and its mechanisms. Enrolling at Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts to study Fashion Design, it wasn't long after graduation that he was already creating his own collections. By 1986, his eponymous brand had launched.
Van Noten became part of what's known as the "Antwerp Six" — a group of six Royal Academy graduates who are considered to be Belgium's most influential and avant-garde fashion collective. Aside from him, Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Van Saene, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Bikkembergs, and Marina Yee are part of the elite crew.
Being a part of the collective gave him easy access to buyers in London, New York, and Amsterdam, which helped develop his brand into the thriving label it is today while staying true to his personal values. In fact, Van Noten is probably one of the few major independent designers out there. He still refuses to invest in advertising, while also insisting on selling his pieces to celebrities rather than giving them away or lending.
Not only this — Van Noten also feels very responsible for his team, from the supplier and stockists to the factory workers. All of his collections will feature prints so the brand can work with its six regular printers, or include embroidery (whether it's all-over or just small details) in order to continue supporting its approximate 3,000 embroidery workers in India.
As a result, a lot of pieces from Dries Van Noten's collections sport bold prints and intricate designs, previously catching the eyes of influential style icons such as Kanye West, Jay-Z, A$AP Rocky, Drake, and French Montana, as well as NBA and NFL athletes like James Harden and Jamal Adams. Pusha-T could be seen rocking a Dries Van Noten poncho-style sweater in his visuals for "Sweet Serenade", A$AP Rocky flexed effortlessly in a $1,605 Van Noten back zip moleskin bomber jacket for his "L$D" video, while Jay-Z rocked a full-on Van Noten suit in "Apeshit". Thanks to A$AP, the aforementioned bomber jacket even ended up on various resell websites, including Grailed.
If that wasn't enough, Dries Van Noten happens to be one of Pusha-T's favorite brands. "Dries Van Noten is, of all the brands, the most understated to me" admitted Pusha-T in a 2013 interview with Complex. "People overlook it. The pieces are incredible. [...] Just details that are the epitome of tailored and couture. The cut of it. It’s ill. And, once again, if you know then you know. If you don’t, then you’re forever asking, ‘Yo, that looks amazing on you. What is that?’"
To be sure you're in the know and not an envious onlooker, we've included a few of our favorite pieces from the brand's latest collection. Our pick of t-shirts, sweaters, a satin twill shirt and bomber jacket feature an experimental marble print made with a Venetian hand-marbling technique, typically used on bookbinding. Using the same technique, the collection caught our eye after we gawked at Van Noten's recent MR PORTER-exclusive trench coat, which dropped last week.
Take a closer look at these insane pieces below, and click through to cop a true statement piece. If you know, you know.
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