Born in Belgium in 1971, Willy Vanderperre studied fashion at Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts before switching courses to take up photography.
Whilst at the Academy, made famous by the “Antwerp Six,” Vandeperre first met the friends who would become his closest collaborators: Raf Simons , Olivier Rizzo and Peter Philips . “We all were very naive back then. We just shot! We always worked around the same boy and girl in a shoot because they were a source of inspiration,” he told Interview magazine. “Raf was a close friend of ours and he was just starting his collection. He was translating perfectly what happened around that time with his clothes; we used a lot of them mixed in with lots of vintage.”
Vanderperre's career was kick-started when one of those early images went into “an exhibition and Terry Jones from i-D magazine picked up on it.” Vanderperre is now a regular contributor to Love, W Magazine, AnOther Magazine, Another Man, Vogue Hommes International and American Vogue. Commercial campaign highlights include Raf Simons, Christian Dior, Dior Homme, Jil Sander and Prada.
In 2015. Vanderperre published "635," a book that recorded each and everyone of his Instagram posts, until the point of the publication’s printing. While January 2016 saw the premiere of Willy Vanderperre’s film Naked Heartland take place at London’s Institute of Contemporary Art, marking his debut as a film director. An accompanying book, described as "a concentration of stills from the film," was also released. It too highlights Vanderperre’s consistent and longterm preoccupation with youth, isolation and the redemptive power of pop culture; a refrain that echoes throughout Willy Vanderperre’s career and images.