Ann Demeulemeester opens its newly renovated flagship boutique in Antwerp on September 2nd, 2021. photos: Victor-Robyn

Dear Shaded Viewers,

Last year Ann Demeulemeester company was acquired by Claudio Antonioli with the goal of taking the label back to the cult status it has acquired over the past 4 decades. The  DNA of the brand is its romantic vision of fashion fused with poetry. The flagship on Leopold de Waelplaats will play the prominent role in the relaunch of the brand.

The store which was acquired by Ann Demeulemeester and her husband and partner, Patrick Robyn in 1999 is now being redesigned by Robyn in order to stay true to the Ann Demeulemeester vision while updating if for the new era. “The task was to differentiate ourselves while staying true to the brand’s DNA.” said Robyn.

To begin with, Robyn refurbished 420 meters of painter’s canvas that lined the shop’s walls, retaining the original store’s idea of the second skin. For the ground floor of the boutique, the canvas was painted light blue. On the first floor, canvas now covers the shop’s windows, creating a chiaroscuro effect in daytime. The shop’s lighting was replaced with an all-new digitally controlled, energy-efficient LED system that literally puts Demeulemeester’s clothes into a new soft yet crisp light.

The original wooden floor was  restored and stained black, the ceiling was painted in the deepest shade of black Robyn could find. Floor-to-ceiling black curtains now line the windows on the ground floor.

Robyn designed all furniture and fixtures for the two sales floors and there will be no differentiation between women’s and men’s.

A six meter long glass display case will house accessories from the fashion line and the Ann Demeulemeester – Serax collection of homeware. 4-meter-long bespoke white couches on the ground floor feature wide cushions with elongated black fringes.

“I hope that when our customers get home after buying something in this shop, their clothes will remain loaded with memories, emotion, and meaning,” says Robyn. “I want the people to remember the day that they bought it.”

Ann Demeulemeester says that the renovated store signifies a new beginning. “The renewed flagship store in Antwerp celebrates the renaissance of the brand under Claudio’s wings,” she says.



Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.