Haider Ackermann

Born: Santa Fe de Bogota, Colombia, 1971

Designer Biography Haider AckermannAdopted by French parents, Haider Ackerman’s father travelled across Africa with his son and two other children. As a child Ackerman was inspired by the cultures he visited, especially the draped fabrics worn by women in Ethiopia and the locals hidden by material in Algeria.

At 12, Ackerman and his family moved to The Netherlands and in 1994 he went on to Belgium to train at the Royal Academy of Antwerp. Without graduating, Ackerman began his career in Paris as an intern for John Galliano. He followed on to become an assistant to his former teacher, Wim Neels.

In 2001 Ackerman launched his own label focussing solely on womenswear. Presenting his first collection in Paris for autumn/winter 02/03, he self-financed it entirely on his own. The clothes demonstrated his avant-garde aesthetic that featured skilful draping techniques.

In 2003 Ackerman was hired as the head designer for Ruffo Research, where he designed two collections simultaneously alongside his own label. Ackerman was awarded the prestigious Swiss Textiles Award in 2004. The following year he signed up with fashion group bvba “32”. Also in 2005, he contributed to A magazine as a guest curator.

In 2010 he received the most esteemed compliment from Karl Lagerfeld, naming him the successor for his job at Chanel if he were ever to leave. Later on that year Ackerman launched his first and last menswear collection. The idea to only create one collection was based upon the thought that creativity could not be forced.

The following year American Vogue featured Lady Gaga on the front cover wearing Ackerman’s designs. With Ackerman having such a unique style, the stylist responsible for the look personally asked for his help.

Haider Ackerman focuses solely on the clothes. Pushing away from mainstream fashion, his style is individual and focuses on contrast. Known for his impeccably draped fabrics, Ackerman is inspired by different cultures and his use of colour adds an elegant twist that creates an opulent finish to his collections.

In 2010, Haider Ackermann made a foray into menswear by launching a special collection during the Pitti trade shows in Florence. Three years later, in June 2013, it was announced that the Ann Demeulemeester and Haider Ackermann labels would become separate independent companies under the management of entrepreneur Anne Chapelle’s 32 BVBA fashion house. In that same year, Ackermann introduced his first complete menswear line.

In 2014, Ackermann collaborated with actress Tilda Swinton for a Mercedes-Benz campaign. In September 2016, Haider Ackermann took on the role of creative director at Berluti, succeeding Alessandro Sartori. He presented his debut collection for the label in January 2017. During his tenure at Berluti, Ackermann brought a more fluid and feminine touch to the collections, which were showcased on both men and women. He had a comprehensive role that included overseeing product design, including sport accessories, as well as creating ad campaigns, establishing the brand’s image, and designing store concepts. Despite his responsibilities at Berluti, Ackermann continued to manage his own eponymous women’s and men’s fashion lines simultaneously.

After three seasons, Ackermann and Berluti decided to part ways in March 2018.

In December 2021, Haider Ackermann collaborated with actor Timothée Chalamet to design a hoodie for a charitable cause. All proceeds from the sale of the hoodie were donated to Afghanistan Libre, a French organisation focused on advocating for women’s rights in Afghanistan.

Haider Ackermann Biography

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Written by Saxony Dudbridge

Saxony Dudbridge was one of the first contributors to the Catwalk Yourself project, Saxony studies International Fashion Marketing and she is responsible for our great History and Designers Biographies sections.

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