AF VANDEVORST – Womenswear Label
An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx met in 1987 on their first day of school at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. They graduated in 1991 and 10years later they presented their first collection as A.F.VANDEVORST in Paris and almost immediately won the Vénus de la Mode in 1998 as “Futur Grand Createur”.
The current A.F.VANDEVORST line is a complete women’s ready-to-wear line comprising shoes, bags and accessories. Their collections are shown twice a year during Paris Women’s Fashion Week and now sell in partnership with more than 100 boutiques across the world.
The first A.F.VANDEVORST flagship store opened in the heart of Antwerp in August 2014.
CHRISTIANE ARP - Chief Editor, Vogue Germany
Christiane Arp has been at the helm of Vogue Germany as editor-in-chief since March 2003 and has rejuvenated the brand’s relevance to international fashion.
While raising the global profile of German Vogue, Arp has pursued a range of initiatives to promote Germany as a centre of fashion. For example, in 2011 she established the Vogue Salon, a platform to showcase up-and-coming German designers that is held twice a year during Berlin Fashion Week.
Arp studied fashion design at the Hamburg University of Design before launching her magazine career at the likes of Brigitte and Viva. She went on to oversee the fashion and lifestyle sections at Stern and played a leading role as fashion director in developing Amica magazine.
COLIN MCDOWELL - Fashion Commentator
Colin McDowell is one of the world’s top fashion commentators. He is best known as the Sunday Times’ chief fashion writer and for his role as the founder of the influential Fashion Fringe, a major initiative supporting young designers.
He knows the fashion business from both sides of the catwalk. He spent 10 years as a designer, illustrator and publicist in the Italian fashion business, where he worked with highly respected artist and couturier, Pino Lancetti.
Mr McDowell has been a journalist for over 20 years and has at one time or another written for every quality newspaper and magazine in Britain. For the past 15 years he has been fashion writer for The Sunday Times Style, for which he has reported each season from the international fashion weeks, covering couture, women’s ready-to-wear and menswear.
FABRIZIO SERVENTE - Global Strategy Advisor, The Woolmark Company
Fabrizio Servente is currently the Global Strategy Advisor for The Woolmark Company and is a permanent jury member of the Mittelmoda Fashion Award.
For 10 years Mr Servente served as the Marketing Director of high-end retailer Ermenegildo Zegna, followed by two decades as Marketing and Product Development Director at Benetton Group. Today, he remains an influential leader in the fashion and textile industry. He has been instrumental in the creation of The Wool Lab and continues to play a vital role in strengthening the wool industry and fostering the education of tomorrow’s tastemakers.
JAMES SLEAFORD – Fashion Editor, GQ France
James Sleaford studied Business at Nottingham Trent University before following his sister Julie, an established fashion photographer, into the industry. After assisting for two years James got the break to become the Contributing Menswear fashion editor for Sky Magazine before progressing onto other magazines including i-D, British GQ and Arena Magazine.
As a freelance fashion editor James also divided his time between styling music acts including Razorlight, as well as various campaigns and shows for designers such as Hackett and John Richmond.
Whilst investing his time between Paris and London, James was then offered the position to become the first Fashion Editor-in-Chief for GQ France. After seven years, and still currently living in Paris, James is heading up the fashion sections for both the French GQ Magazine and the new GQ Style Manual – which is fast becoming the menswear reference on how to dress in France.
JOHN DE GREEF – Fashion Editor
As Fashion Editor for Elsevier and Elsevier STIJL, John de Greef is a tastemaker in all leading Dutch and international fashion trends and presentations. For fashion magazine STIJL, he operates as Fashion Director.
Starting his career with fashion editing for newspapers, magazines and trade journals, it was the early-1980s which saw de Greef become the first Dutch journalist and stylist in men’s fashion. He has published frequently on this subject as well as womenswear in national and international media.
As an author he has published four books on menswear, which have been translated into French and German.
In 1993 he received two awards: the Grand Seigneur for his journalistic work and the Mercur for his work in fashion and art direction.
JUSTIN O’SHEA - Buying Director, mytheresa.com
Australian native Justin O’Shea joined Munich-based mytheresa.com in 2009. He began his career in Amsterdam working in sportswear and then moved to London to head up the sales of April77.
In January 2008 O’Shea became the first international buyer at Al Ostoura, a powerful luxury retailer in Kuwait with 40 stores.
He joined mytheresa.com in September 2009 where he currently holds the position of Buying Director. In 2014 mytheresa.com was acquired by The Neiman Marcus Group International.
SIMON CHILVERS – Men’s Style Director, MATCHESFASHION.COM
Simon Chilvers oversees menswear editorial content for the site and its biannual print magazine, The Style Report, having joined the retailer in 2013.
Prior to this he wrote for the Guardian newspaper for several years, including four years as Assistant Fashion Editor, writing and styling content with a focus on menswear. He has also written for British Vogue, Shortlist and Men’s Health, among other titles.
Chilvers studied Modern Art, Design and Film at the University of Northumbria before taking an MA at the London College of Fashion, where he won the Jackie Moore writing prize which launched his writing career.
VEERLE WINDELS - Fashion Journalist
Veerle Windels has been an enthusiastic journalist for more than 20 years, always uncovering a story behind the scenes for the person behind the product.
Veerle launched her first book in 2001 titled Young Belgian Fashion, compiled some of her best interviews with fashion designers in Werken met Woorden (2009) and wrote a monograph on fashion designer Tim van Steenbergen (2010).
As a freelance journalist she mainly writes for the Belgian quality daily De Standaard, but also for international publications such as Elsevier and StyleZeitgeist. She also teaches ‘Fashion. NOW’ at the fashion department of the KASK in Ghent.
WALTER VAN BEIRENDONCK - Designer
Walter Van Beirendonck is considered to be one of the main trendsetters in men’s fashion. His designs are very recognisable by either strong graphics or innovating cuts and unexpected colour combinations. His first breakthrough was during the British Designer Show/London in 1987 as part of ‘The Antwerp Six’. Since 1983 he brings collections under the label ‘Walter Van Beirendonck’, influenced by art, music and literature, all mixed with ethnic and nature influences.
Walter Van Beirendonck studied Fashion at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, where he in 1985 returned as teacher and became Head of the Fashion Department in 2006.