Antwerp shakers push fashion industry forward

When we talk about technology, the fashion industry was definitely not an early adopter for a long time. But they are catching up. Brands are using emerging technology to better understand consumers, create more customized products for individual consumers, and develop new ways to bring the shopping experience to consumers.

Designers are experimenting with data analysis and design tools. New materials offer new design, fabrication and user possibilities. The Biotech revolution is entering the fashion industry. Robotised production speaks to the imagination of many innovators. And tech in clothing seems the next step towards a screen free way of computing.

We examine 5 trends in fashion, illustrated with the best Antwerp has to offer.

1. Hyper uniqueness

‘Hyper uniques’ is all about personality. 
In an era with easy access to endless sources of inspiration, youngsters have a need for self-actualisation and identity formation.

It’s about emancipating from categorisation. People living a hybrid lifestyle, and being able to wear what they really want. Not the standard, but personality makes the building blocks for our identity.


Twikit is a Belgian Scale-up with a sharp focus on 3D customization and digital manufacturing. They
stand for customisation & personalisation. “The future of fashion is all about, and technologies like 3D scanning, 3D printing, and e-knitting will revolutionise the way clothing is created and presented to customers.” 

ZulupaPUWA by Walter Van Beirendonck

Walter Van Beirendonck has been drawing the ZulupaPUWA collection for the Belgian fashion chain JBC for already 12 years.

In 2017 his collection became mostly uniseks, with girl models as tomboys and boys with nailpolish. He changed the cute figures for cool dino's and messages like 'we are all different but
the same' and 'respect', written in English, Arabic, Russian and Chinese.

Sarah Dimani

Sarah Dimani is the queen of all round: graphic designer, fashionista, influencer, blogger & writer. She has been sharing her life on Instagram for the past four years. She started by posting pictures of everyday life, but now uses the platform to combine religion and fashion in genius. It makes her
one of the Flemish role models for young Muslims. "I want to show that a headscarf can also be fashionable. You can be religious and fashionable at the same time.”

2. Statement fashion

Making a statement with fashion is catching attention by making extreme lifestyle choices. Using the broad opportunities of expression and platforms to share your opinion and communicating with the clothes you wear or design.

Amberberes by Sven Mes en El Yamani ‘Elias’ Maftouhi

The Antwerp creatives Sven Mes and El Yamini ‘Elias’ Maftouhi made sweaters with the inscription ‘Ambereres’. A reference to the statements by the Antwerp Mayor about the Berbers in the city.

A.F. Vandevorst

SS 2017, A.F. Vandevorsts first quest on the haute couture week in Paris. The Belgian fashion label stopped with prêt-à-porter and will from now on only focus on high fashion and shoes. Instead of following the fixed fashion calendar, the brand will launch capsule collections. Clothing items that are notably timeless in their design, usages and construction
As a statement of absoute creativity, they used the garbage bags from the city of Antwerp in their first runway show.


The hat collection Absurd Reality is sometimes in all colors, sometimes only black and white, sometimes fun, sometimes normal... But the main thing you should feel beautifully by yourself and that's what makes you shine. Take a look and see who can be under the hat.

3. Beyond the looks

Critical consumers make a clear choice when it comes to the brands they spend their money on. People are publicly asking brands for reasons to buy their product and demanding an explanation for the ongoing problems in the fashion industry. #whomademyclotes


The HNST jeans is the first jeans ever made of 50% recycled denim. HNST stands for a timeless and high-quality jeans collection, where not only your butt fits perfectly, but it’s also made of 50% old jeans. Everything will be produced in the EU and according to the rules of the circular economy.


w.r.yuma is built on the conviction that sustainable fashion should be equal in quality and not more expensive than conventional fashion.
It’s world's first 3d printed sunglasses, made from recycled car dashboards, soda bottles & fridges. Turning plastic waste into quality sunglasses.

The Post-Couture Collective

“The Post-Couture Collective offers an alternative to today’s fashion system. We’re introducing a new era in the production of sustainable and affordable clothing. In our vision clothing is designed on the principles of open-source, and is made using 21st century technology. We are the first fashion label that truly embraces the Maker Movement and the Third Industrial Revolution.”

4. Blurred sectors

Because people and sectors are more and more interconnected, the search for newness and solutions implies looking across borders and learning from each other. And the endless tech evolution makes it possible to dream big.

Cutting-edge creatives are embracing technology and science in their work. For example Bolt Threads, working together with Stella McCartney, literally states “We made this dress with science.”

Stanley & Stella

Stanley & Stella is all about sustainability. Besides their own, private collection they also have a healthy food corner, co-working areas and collaborations with other brands and artists. They have an atelier available where people can customise garments based on their personal taste.

Flora Miranda

Flora Miranda is an Austrian fashion designer, based in Antwerp, where she graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.
Her atelier stands for freedom of expression, a space to breathe within the fashion world, not orienting on market requirements but fostering new ideas and visions.

Jasna Rok

Jasna Rok combines innovative technologies with interactive fashion. She uses smart textiles and personalised digital design to create branded, unique and made-to-measure collections.
Interactive VR-campaigns or 360° shootings are used to bring a joint vision on tomorrow’s fashion to life.

5. Social fashion

Eluding geographical limitations, youngsters connect with kindred spirits to share their passions, opinions and missions. Powered by the Internet, they are tied to multiple close-knit and less close-knit groups that all differ in customs and culture. In an everchanging and overwhelming world, they seek tribal safe havens for support, inspiration and advice.

Kitayama Studio

Kitayama Studio is a handcrafted leather goods brand from Beijing. They stand for unique designs and refined finishes and they’re taking over the world from their first international HQ in Antwerp.
With the Kitayama International Collaboration Project, they ask a young designer to design a collection. The very first designer they worked with was Shone Puipia, a Thai graduate of the Antwerp Fashion Academy.
The following was Emmanuel A. Ryngaert, who also graduated from the Antwerp Fashion Academy. His collection launched in October 2017.

Entre Nous

Entre Nous is a collective of seven, Belgian labels. By working together they want to take a stronger position in the competitive fashion world. They gather CXL Stil, Dcember, Façon Jacmin, Lore Van Keer, Ophelia Lingerie, Pluto on the Moon and Toos Franken.

Jewellery Farm

Jewellery Farm is the collective of Nina Pouillon, Eline De Winter, Elya Tettelin, Louisa Vannevel and
Camille El-Ashkar. All young designers, graduated at the Antwerp Academy.

Global motions, Antwerp shakers: the complete report

This report was made by Trendwolves, a trend research, strategic marketing and communication agency driven by culture.
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