Brandon Wen is the new creative director of the Fashion Department at Antwerp Academy, he succeeds Walter Van Beirendonck Photo: Akhil Babu for Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp

Dear Shaded Viewers,

Brandon Wen, born in Los Angeles in 1993, succeeds Walter Van Beirendonck as the new creative director of the Fashion Department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. I believe it is the first time an American holds that position and also some one that young. He will teach and mentor students starting in September. Wen is both a fashion designer and a performance artist. He was a student at the Academy of FIne Arts Antwerp and has worked designing for Rick Owens, Michèle Lamy and Maison Lemarié/Chanel, among others. In addition he was an organizer and teacher at the international Arts of Fashion Foundation.

Brandon Wen: ‘I could not be more excited! This is a dream beyond dreams that I take with enormous gratitude, gravity and joy. I will focus on the traditions of creativity and artistry that made me fall in love with this Academy. At the intersection of fantasy and reality, we will create another generation of designers and artists focused on authenticity, creativity and fun, that have the tools and chutzpah to make a space for themselves in the world, setting that example myself. We will grow together and redefine our sense of wonder and beauty in fashion. I am audacious as hell as a person and an artist as I intend to be as a teacher and creative director. Filled with humility and pride, I cannot wait to begin.’

Johan Pas, head of the Academy and chairman of the selection committee: ‘Brandon Wen convinced us with his generous creativity, strong drive, fresh ideas and his great connecting power. Exactly what the Academy and our Fashion Department needs. With Brandon Wen we choose radically for an international, interdisciplinary and innovative profile. Together with his team of teachers and with the colleagues of the Academy, Wen will further put the Fashion Department on the international map of fashion and strengthen it for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.’

Photo: Akhil Babu for Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp

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.