{alt missing} Getty Images

Ann Demeulemeester

Founder, Ann Demeulemeester

What is the BoF 500?

The BoF 500 is the definitive professional index of the people shaping the $2.4 trillion fashion industry, hand-selected by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on hundreds of nominations received from current BoF 500 members, extensive data analysis and research.


Belgian fashion designer Ann Demeulemeester shot to prominence in the mid 1980s as part of a group of visionary Royal Academy of Fine Arts graduates, whose cutting-edge showcase at London Fashion Week in 1986 earned them instant international acclaim as the “Antwerp Six.”

Demeulemeester launched her eponymous label in 1985 in collaboration with her husband, the photographer Patrick Robyn. She held her first catwalk show in Paris in 1991 and, in 1996, following the debut of her menswear line, became one of the first designers to showcase both men's and women’s collections in one presentation.

Over time, she managed to build a successful business around her gothic, bohemian-inspired collections. But in November 2013, Demeulemeester announced that she would leave her namesake label. “A new time is coming both for my personal life and the brand Ann Demeulemeester. I feel it’s time to separate our paths. Ann Demeulemeester is an adult brand now with its own identity and legacy that is able to continue growing without me,” wrote the designer in a handwritten letter that was distributed via email.

Managed through bvba 32, the Ann Demuelemeester operates out of Antwerp and operates three standalone stores in Antwerp, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Anne Chapelle , who has been managing director of Ann Demeulemeester since 1994, owns what is thought to be a significant stake in the company.

Since stepping away from her namesake brand, Demeulemeester has based herself in the small Belgian town of Kessel and developed a hobby of making ceramics into a tableware line with the help of Serax founder Axel Van Den Bossche.


Ann Demeulemeester

Ann Demeulemeester


1986 - 2013

Antwerp, Belgium


Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp

Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp

Share This Profile

Vital Statistics

29 December 1959



Similar Profiles

Dries Van Noten

Designer, Dries Van Noten

Walter Van Beirendonck

Head of Fashion, Royal Academy of Fine Arts

Peter Pilotto & Christopher de Vos

Designers, Peter Pilotto

Glenn Martens

Creative Director, Diesel & Y/Project