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One of Antwerp’s brightest stars, Haider Ackermann has seen many more ports than the one fronting the town in which he now lives and works. Born in Santa Fe de Bogotà, Colombia, in 1971, he was adopted by a French family and spent his childhood moving around the globe, living in Ethiopia, Chad, France, Algeria and the Netherlands. During his three years studying at Antwerp’s Royal Academy (he left the four year course prematurely because of financial difficulties), he also worked as an intern in John Galliano’s Paris office. After saving money and taking encouragement from his friends and acquaintances – among them Raf Simons – Haider finally took the plunge and presented his first, self-financed women’s collection in Paris for autumn/winter 2002. His subtle, dignified and sensuous clothes continue to have a profound effect on buyers and editors every season and he has amassed a loyal following for his fearless approach to femininity. He counts Tilda Swinton as a muse and close personal friend and has been named as Karl’s favourite to succeed him at Chanel.


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