An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx met in 1987 on their first day of school at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp.
Ten years later, they set up their company Blixa and presented their first collection as
A.F.VANDEVORST in Paris and almost immediately won the Vénus de la Mode in 1998.
The current A.F.VANDEVORST line is a complete women’s ready-to-wear line comprising of shoes, bags and accessories.
A.F.VANDEVORST shows their collections twice a year during the Paris Women’s Fashion Week and now sells their collections in partnership with some hundred boutiques all over the world.
A.F.VANDEVORST has always undertaken outside design projects and collaborations:
- There has been the creation of a unique collection for Ruffo Research Italy (2000-2001), as well as for Allegri in Italy (2005).
- In a coproduction with Toneelgroep Amsterdam/New York Theatre, the designers duo created the costumes for the Susan Sontag play 'Alice in Bed' (2000) and they did the same for the Dutch Opera House with The Makropoulus case (2002).
- In 2005, An and Filip were asked by MOMU, the renowned Antwerp Fashion Museum, to curate “Katharina Prospekt” an exhibition based upon the couple’s impressions of Russia.
- For L’AVENTURE, the subbrand by Belgian lingerie brand Marie Jo, An and Filip designed a capsule collection which has led A.F.VANDEVORST to win the Belgian ELLE award for Best Designer of the Year (2011).
- In June 2011, A.F.VANDEVORST was also invited to create an original installation for the Arnhem Mode Biennale, for which An & Filip drew inspiration from their second collection and presented DREAMING, a life-size sleeping girl made out of candle wax.
- More recently they designed the costumes for Le Duc D’Albe, a new production of the Flemish Opera which premiered on May 6th 2012.
The duo’s more recent projects were focused on reaching out to the global community by creating travelling guerrilla stores: AKTIONEN (2009-2011) followed by The Smallest Travelling Store In The World project (TSTSITW); a shop-in-a-shop installation which represents a patient’s hospital bedroom and showcases the current collection while invoking the spirit of the brand.
Early 2012, TSTSITW travelled overseas and made its first stop at Patron of the New in New York in February 2012. It then journeyed to Canada for a second stop at Quai 417 in Montreal in May 2012.
A.F.VANDEVORST is a company in full expansion with a keen eye for the future.
credit photograph: Ronald Stoops