Retailer Claudio Antonioli is committed to preserving the legacy of the Belgian label, moving forward in the process

Since taking control of Ann Demeulemeester in 2020, retailer Claudio Antonioli has made it his mission to preserve the legacy and DNA of the Belgian brand. Though Demeulemeester herself departed the label in 2013, Antonioli has worked closely with the founder in order to properly capture the brand’s original essence. Complete commitment to the label’s archives is clear to see in the Fall/Winter 2022 collection.

Three-piece suiting was deconstructed to form fluid silhouettes that stretched to the floor. Slits, in the form of venting and deep necklines, further elongated the profiles. In a collection defined by dark subtlety, the white detachable collar stood out. It connoted dishevelment and ease, while still referencing classic suiting and formalwear. Each look in the collection can be worn by both men and women.

What is there left to say about Demeulemeester’s signature style of discretion? It’s elegant, it’s sophisticated—but what’s often overlooked is that the label’s offerings allow the wearer to be elegant, sophisticated, and comfortable. And it’s not just a physical comfort: It’s mental as well. To borrow from Yohji Yamamoto—perhaps the designer most often mentioned in the same breath as Demeulemeester—the color black says, “I don’t bother you, don’t bother me.”

Just as the label historically offers a serious, modest look to its wearers, the creative team’s aspirations for Fall/Winter 2022 were likewise grounded. Antonioli and his team continue to connect with Demeulemeester’s beginnings in order to evolve the brand.