Ann Demeulemeester (born December 29, 1959) is a fashion designer whose eponymous label Ann Demeulemeester is mainly showcased at the annual Paris Fashion Week. She is one of Antwerp Six in the fashion industry.
After graduating from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1981, Demeulemeester found success almost immediately. A year after her graduation, she won the Gouden Spoel, an annually awarded prize to the year’s most promising fashion designer. Ann began working as a freelance designer for a few years, and then proceeded to release her own line in 1985 with husband Patrick Robyn. Her first collection was shown in a Parisian art gallery with a makeshift runway and somber models in 1992. In 1996, she debuted her own menswear line.
Her pieces, which at times have been described as “funereal”, have subtle hints of emotion and emphasis on sexuality. “I could do it the easy way, give the same pieces, but if I don’t try new things then I’m not pushing myself, and I feel bad. I feel lazy.”
Despite being approached by major fashion houses (names of which she refuses to divulge), Ann Demeulemeester emphasizes both design and financial independence, and chooses to remain with her own line. She opened her own shop in Antwerp in 1999. Her collections are now sold in over 30 countries worldwide.