Antwerp realises its Fashion Plan 2020-25

In 2021, the city of Antwerp wrote a new vision to give Antwerp’s fashion industry new wind beneath its wings. This vision was translated in a fashion plan, setting out guidelines for the next decade with 2030 as horizon. Out of all this grew targeted actions, to be implemented or on the rails before 2025.

Where is this vision and plan based on?
New vision: Antwerp, laboratory of fashion

Antwerp has a special status in the international fashion world. This is due to the renowned Master in Fashion at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, the reputation of the ModeMuseum (MoMu) and the creativity and innovative spirit of fashion entrepreneurs trained in Antwerp.

The new vision, launched in 2021, wants to maintain in Antwerp where fashion is strong and strengthen the major growth opportunities. This vision has been translated into an action plan that is now realised with the support of the established players in the ecosystem.

Antwerp, laboratory of fashion”: a place where groundbreaking, creative talent receives support, is promoted and challenged to reinvent fashion, the fashion world, and how it is experienced.

Master of Fashion @ The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp

CEOWORLD magazine ranks the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp number 15 in its ranking of the best fashion schools in the world and 9th in Europe (including the UK) for 2022.

Last June, the academy appointed a new creative director Brandon Wen, graduated at the Academy himself, succeeding the legacy of Walter Van Beirendonck.

About 100 students subscribe to the Academy annually, of which up to 20% graduate annually as a Master.

Recently, graduated students launch their own collections or start working at renowned fashion houses. Among them are important names such as Raf Simons at Prada & own collection, Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga & Vêtements, Glenn Martens at Diesel & Y/ project. Dries Van Noten, Christian Wynants, Jan-Jan Van Essche, Arte, Essentiel Antwerp, Monar are internationally renowned for their design and retail concepts. And many others.

Antwerp has the priority to innovate its traditional fashion sector, with a strong focus on sustainable and digital fashion, where designers start experimenting in the metaverse.

ModeMuseum Antwerp (MoMu)

MoMu is in the top 7 best museums in the world with the largest and most important collection in the field of contemporary Belgian fashion (Source: Condé Nast Traveller’s Hot List, 2022).

The MoMu will continue to cement its position in the ranking of world-class fashion museums and present a unique perspective on (international) fashion culture. Its reputation is used to introduce contemporary Antwerp designers to international visitors.

Facilitate fashion entrepreneurs in a perfect-sized creative community

International competition is in full swing and the challenges are great: from radical upheavals to disruptive business models and increasing power of big companies. That is why the city worked out a plan to facilitate the Antwerp fashion sector. It does so by standing up for diversity, by building a fashion ecosystem where support, stimulation and opportunities are provided, and by inviting the sector to help building a high-performance network.

Along with the Academy and the MoMu, fashion entrepreneurs play the leading role. In this lively and diverse city, they meet and inspire each other to seize opportunities and to realise their ambitions.

For this, the city's size is ideal: large enough to have everything you need for international success and small enough to have easy access to it all. Connections are quickly made in Antwerp's fashion community.

With more than 1 on 10 businesses being creative, the city is home to a thriving creative community. As an essential and leading part of the creative sector, Antwerp fashion & retail are a driver of the city's economy.

Over 20,000 people work in Belgium's fashion industry, generating over seven billion euros each year. This is frequently reflected in crossover projects with other creative sectors. For designers, retailers and entrepreneurs in production, photography, film, music, galleries, costume design..., Antwerp is the breeding ground to grow into internationally operating entrepreneurs.

Want to become visible in the fashion industry? Antwerp is the place to be. 'Antwerp fashion' stands out with a unique and quirky attitude, and that attracts the attention of the world. The vision and individual approach unites the Antwerp fashion entrepreneurs.

Together, they create innovation, change and growth, making the city an experimental incubator for fashion. And that is what the city facilitates.

Want to read the FASHION PLAN 2022 - 2025 in detail?