Ann Demeulemeester is a fashion house established in 1985 and based in Antwerp, Belgium. Renowned for a poetic balance of shadow and light, the collections for women and men evoke a serene and romantic universe nuanced with a rock spirit. Masculine and feminine elements are woven throughout each collection, as signature silhouettes fuse languid tailoring in noble fabrics with sensual asymmetries and the twist of sheer and opaque textiles. Entwined with classicism and the radical touch of music and contemporary art, each design captures strength and sensitivity in equal parts.
Graduating from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1981, Ann Demeulemeester (and her contemporaries, the Antwerp Six), transformed global fashion with an restatement of traditional fashion design and a polemical approach to luxury trends. She founded her label in 1985 and imbues her designs with a strong narrative and rebellious spirit. For Demeulemeester, fashion is a form of communication. Her complex language of contrasts covers a whole gamut of emotions. The tension is highly poetic, and her clothes reveal many layers of soul. Known for her elegant tailoring and dark yet glamorous aesthetic, she created a serene and darkly romantic world with an intriguing mix of edgy rebellion and sophistication. Since her departure in 2014, the artistic direction of the brand is in hands of French native Sebastien Meunier.
The French designer Sebastien Meunier was named Artistic Director of Ann Demeulemeester in 2013, having designed the men’s collection in-house since 2010. Hailing from Versailles, Meunier abandoned the study of law for fashion and founded his eponymous label, however an early affinity with Belgian design led to a decade at the right hand of Martin Margiela. His work fuses a seductive awareness of the body with moments of baroque finery and a raw touch. Today Meunier’s vision evolves the house of Ann Demeulemeester into the future with an intimate respect for its illustrious past.
Anne Chapelle is the CEO of BVBA 32 (Atelier Ann Demeulemeester).
As Belgian native and mother of two children, Anne has championed the long term vision of the power of independency and creativity combined with her respect for the core identity of her atelier to transform her unique approach to her operating business model.
She has decisively positioned the company for its next generation of growth. She is convinced that the future of the luxury industry is about integrity and authenticity of the brand (a sustainable value chain), embracing talent (not squeezing them out), partnering with suppliers and merging people’s skills with new technologies.
Anne Chapelle began her professional career as a nurse, successfully evolved to a researcher in tropical medicine. At the young age of 22 she left for Congo for an assignment for the world renowned Tropical Institute of Medicine in Antwerp. She provided medical assistance and managed critical prevention services working closely with women, children, and families to fight tuberculosis, leprosy and aids. Upon her return she obtained a neonatology degree at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam. She continued her career in the pharmaceutical industry in several leadership roles that focused of the application of nuclear technologies.
Anne Chapelle started to work with Ann Demeulemeester in 1994, when she undertook the reorganization of the company. She returned the atelier to profitability as she embarked upon a strategy of impressive but steady growth further developing the Belgian luxury company. In the process, she always focused on people and craftsmanship as the cornerstone of the organization.