PARIS, Feb 25, 2008 / FR/ — Sunday night, husband and wife design team An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx celebrated their 10th anniversary at the Maison des Métallos. It was a fashion show cum party with endless champagne and 14 video screens showing the progress backstage as models get ready.
An and Filip understand their work as a medium to express their creativity and a certain lifestyle, that finds its completion when worn by this strong woman that inspires the line, be it on the street or be it on stage in operas or theaters.
The A.F. Vandevorst aesthetic is nurtured by their mutual obsession with uniforms, hospitals and fairytales, translated in an ambiguous image where the refined meets the raw in a slightly unconventional way, resulting in pure and ever elegant clothes.
Alumni of Antwerp’s world famous fashion academy in 1996, they wanted to launch their own label a year after graduation. An drew a felt hat on a sheet of paper, wrote the words ‘Winter 1998? on it and pinned it to the wall in their bathroom. They quit their jobs and start working on the collection and every morning, the sheet of paper in the bathroom reminded them of their deadline.
The first A.F. Vandevorst collection: Autumn 1998 /Winter 1999 was presented in Paris. The fashion public was speechless in front of this first collection of the couple, mainly inspired by artist Joseph Beuys, hospitals and uniforms. That same year, An and Filip were awarded the Venus de la Mode for ‘Futur grand createurs.’
It is the beginning of a journey, that led the couple to far away places, collaborations with opera houses, exhibitions in museums – the couple even made a movie for their AW 2003 – 2004 collection launching A.F. Vandevorst a strong label.
The successful launch in 2004 of a shoes and accessories line called ‘Fetish’ was followed in 2006 by the implementation of the lingerie line ‘Nightfall’
One of their favorite moments in those past 10 yeas was when they posed for American Vogue as 21st century fashion designers together with Nicolas Ghesquire, Oliver Theyskens and Hedi Slimane. Today, A.F. VAndervost is a team of talented and highly motivated people operating from an old warehouse in Antwerp ready to go further.
“Making fashion is not just about the clothes. It is turning your dreams into reality. It is working with people who help you realize those dreams. It’s the best job in the world. The beauty of it all is that we are still at the beginning. We have enough inspiration for thousands of more collections and many other projects. And we will make them! Thanks to these solid foundations, we can celebrate the past, the present and the future.”