It’s been a busy couple of weeks for fashion. Following Alessandro Michele’s departure from Gucci, the shuttering of Raf Simons’s eponymous label, and Estée Lauder’s agreement to buy Tom Ford, there’s news today from the Claudio Antonioli-owned Ann Demeulemeester brand that Ludovic de Saint Sernin has been named its creative director.
De Saint Sernin’s appointment signals a creative change for the company. Antonioli, who co-founded the New Guards Group, bought Ann Demeuelemeester in 2020, and until now has run it with an unnamed design team. Though she stepped away from her namesake label nearly a decade ago, Demeulemeester herself is tangentially involved. It’s an an unusual arrangement, but she and Antonioli are friends, and so she oversaw an exhibition of her archive at Pitti Uomo this summer and has given her blessing, it would seem, to collections made very much in her image.
Like Demeulemeester, De Saint Sernin was born in Belgium. The Paris-raised, l’ESAA Duperré-educated designer launched his eponymous label in 2017 and quickly garnered notice for the hedonism of his aesthetic and a binary-breaking approach to clothing design. De Saint Sernin is a proponent of what could be called equal opportunity nudity, putting all genders in sheer suits, crystal mesh tanks, lace-up briefs, and “body-formatted” knits, and he has built a starry fanbase of it-girls and it-boys for them—Dua Lipa, Hailey Bieber, Bad Bunny, and Troye Sivan among them.
His collection’s sex positive glamour is attention getting, but it also comes from the heart. He’s just as likely to be wearing his stretch tank top as Ms. Bieber is. “The way that I design for the brand is like a journal, it really is autobiographical,” he told Vogue recently.