The Colombian ready-to-wear fashion designer, Haider Ackermann was born on March 29, 1971. With solely inspired by Yves Saint Laurent’s work, Ackermann shifted to Belgium to study at Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts to pursue a career in fashion design. He worked as an apprentice for John Galliano for five months before starting work as an assistant for Belgian fashion designer, Wim Neels. During that time, Ackermann was living on the streets from day to day working rigorously to build his resume. Before working as a full time designer at Mayerline, Ackermann worked for different brands like Patrick Van Ommeslaeghe and Bernard Wilhelm.
In 2001, Ackermann designed his own women’s wear collection to be presented at the Paris Fashion Week under his own label. The premium leather clothing specialist, Ruffo was impressed by Haider’s 2002 collection and offered him work at Ruffo Research. In 2004, Ackermann won the Swiss Textiles Award. He relocated to Paris in 2005 to follow his love interest and set up a studio which was financed by BVBA 32, a Belgian company. At the Premiere of Oceans Thirteen at the Cannes Film Festival, Tilda Swinton was spotted wearing Ackermann’s metallic suit. He presented his fall 2009 collection in 2008 through which the designer gained red carpet credibility. In talks with Women’s Wear Daily, Ackermann said that what the fashion industry needed at the time were outfits that were more focused on beauty and sensuality rather than sexuality. His clothing collection was also exhibited at the Hyeres Fashion Festival at Villa Noailles. His spring 2010 collection was inspired by Indian colors which turned the attention of many critics towards him. Jessica Biel donned an Ackermann outfit for her Vogue magazine cover in 2010 and his pre-spring line menswear line for Pitti W. also came out around the same time. Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel also admired Ackermann’s designs in Numero’s November 2010 interview and said if there was one designer he would hand down his contract to, it would be none other than Ackermann.
Having spent much of his childhood in different countries like France, Ethiopia, Algeria and Chad; Ackermann’s designs reflect the various cultures he’s come across. His creations are modern with refined and sophisticated silhouettes which are delicately draped. He has often experimented with different cuts when designing his clothing line. Ackermann is also known for designing women’s clothing with a Giacometti silhouette which makes a women look taller and their torsos longer.
In 2011, Ackermann once again made his way to Vogue Magazine’s cover with Lady Gaga wearing his outfit. The year 2011 came to a pleasant end with Vogue’s Andre Leon Tally naming Ackermann as the rising star of the fashion industry. Caroline Trentini wore a Haider Ackermann outfit for the cover of Vogue Magazine in 2012. Ryan Lochte with Karlie Kloss in the designer’s blue ensemble was photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Vogue that same year in June. Ackermann’s enviable success also landed him a spot in the Vogue 120 List including many other influential designers. Karl Lagerfield presented Ackermann with an International award from Fashion Group in October.
Many celebrities have donned Ackermann’s outfits from time to time like Tilda Swinton, Victoria Beckham, Karlie Kloss and Penelope Cruz be it for the red carpet ceremonies or for Vogue’s covers.