A history of Fashion
Antwerp has historically been at the heart of an important textile industry. Starting as an economic hub during its Golden Age the city went on to create the strict dress code on the Red Star Line ships that bore what was called ‘cruise fashion’. The Golden Age began when Antwerp became the main trading center for the chemicals used in dying cloth, some of which were locally produced and others sent up from Italy for its northern distribution. The city became renowned for its efforts in the production of fashions namely lace making, weaving and finishing and the incredibly difficult dying of fine black cloth.
In the 17th Century, the Rubens came onto the scene and turned art into a craftsmanship for the wealthy. This led to the politicization of dress, where status and allegiance were displayed through fabric. From here, Antwerp continued its fashion journey, which ultimately resulted in the founding of the Royal Academy of Fine Art, one of the oldest in Europe. This passion for design has shaped the city with desirable fabrics, hems and patterns that will have any fashion lover smiling.
Antwerp Fashion DepartmentWithin the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, one will find the Fashion Department, where young designers aspire to change to world’s style or at least put their fingerprints on it. This department has a yearly show where the graduates clothe models in their creations and show them off to designers, styling agencies and addicts of the art.
Shop the cityHead to the stores to pick up some iconic masterpieces with the help of this style map. There are seven districts in the city that offer the modes you are looking for. The collections available are right off the runway and will have you in style for any occasion.
When on a shopping tour around the streets, stay just a short walk away at the Radisson Blu Astrid Hotel, Antwerp. Enjoy luxurious accommodation that is styled like the city.