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Haider Ackermann has been named the new creative director of French luxury men’s label Berluti, effective immediately, it was announced late Wednesday evening.
The Colombian designer, best known for his sensual women’s tailoring (worn often by Tilda Swinton), will present his first collection during Paris Men’s Fashion Week in January 2017. Will Smith, Steve Carell and Joshua Jackson are among the famous male celebs to have worn Berluti on the red carpet.
“I am very honored to join Berluti. This house stands for the essence of luxury menswear and embracing this new adventure inspires me,” said Ackermann in a statement. He replaces Alessandro Sartori, who spent five years at the helm before departing in February to join Ermenegildo Zegna as artistic director.
In light of the 45-year-old designer’s appointment, here’s what you need to know about the designer who’s been compared to Yves Saint Laurent.
Having been in the game for more than a decade, Ackermann is an industry veteran. The Paris-based designer, who studied fashion design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, interned for John Galliano for five months in 1998 and then went on to work with brands including Bernhard Willhelm, Patrick Van Ommeslaeghe and Mayerline. In 2001, Ackermann launched his eponymous ready-to-wear women’s label, now recognized for its draping and gender-neutral silhouettes, before launching his men’s range in July 2013.
Ackermann’s designs have been worn on the red carpet by Janet Jackson, Penelope Cruz and Zendaya. But no one sports his sculptural numbers quite as Tilda Swinton. Fashion chameleon Swinton has regularly appeared in his designs, as seen at the 2012 Golden Globes, a number of film festivals, this year’s CFDA Awards and Comic-Con. “There are very few clothes that really move properly, in relation to the body, like Haider’s do — that feeling of them being designed for movement; designed for the body; for the gesture,” Swinton said of the designer to Vogue UK in 2014. Given their close friendship, the Oscar winner is often seen on Ackermann’s Instagram account, too.
ON THE CARPET: Tilda Swinton in Haider Ackermann at the 2016 CFDA Awards (left); at the 2016 Comic-Con with Brie Larson; and 2012 Golden Globes. (Photo: Getty Images)
The Colombian creative has been hailed for his unique designs, with fashion critic Suzy Menkes calling him “one of the rare hope-for-the-future designers” in 2009. In describing one of Ackermann’s creations from his fall 2016 collection, Business of Fashion editor-at-large Tim Blanks wrote of the designer’s ability to narrow in on a subject: “Yes, it was technically a dress, but the emphasis was on the leg, as it was in the rest of the show: limbs narrowed, elongated by witchy boots. If that meant the collection had no breadth, it certainly had a tightly focused depth.”
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