HEAT x Haider Ackermann

Written by The Heat Team

01 Dec 2020

HEAT is excited to announce our upcoming collaboration with the renowned Antwerp-based atelier, Haider Ackermann. Delving deep into their archives, our capsule collection revisits the label’s most iconic silhouettes.

Launching December 2nd, HEAT X Haider Ackermann mystery boxes will be available for sale at £750, and contain 1-3 items from our exclusive capsule collection, with a guaranteed RRP value of £1,100+. Each box will contain an assortment of pieces which range from the Underground Bomber, Moonshape Joggers, Perth Bombers, Perth Hoodies & Perth Sweaters. Every order will be delivered in a limited-edition co-branded bespoke chocolate velvet box. The full capsule collection will be available for sale individually at full retail price.

In anticipation of our exclusive collaboration, HEAT takes a closer look at the man behind the eponymous brand, exploring Haider Ackermann’s legendary career thus far.

In an era defined by excess and maximalism, Haider Ackermann continues to stand out with his unique vision. The Colombian-born French designer is one of the most respected names in the industry, known for his use of rich, moody colours, plush fabrics and a masterful technique of draping and layering. At the core of each collection, immaculate tailoring, boasting sharp cuts and strong shoulders, is fused with the relaxed silhouettes of modern street style. A visionary with rich artistic integrity, his designs have garnered a cult following within the fashion world.

Ackermann’s roots in fashion were etched at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, the alma mater of Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten and Martin Margiela, half of the elusive Antwerp Six. The collective, famed for their distinctive designs and radical visions left an imprint on the new generation of creatives, like Ackermann, who shared “My initial aesthetic was built on that, but then I went to Belgium, and everything was dark and grey, and I became attracted to the complete opposite. Now I try to combine both elements.” He went on to intern for John Galliano and a slew of European brands including Bernhard Willhelm, Patrick Van Ommeslaeghe and Mayerline before launching his eponymous label—funnily enough, at the encouragement from Raf Simons, another well-respected name in the industry who is currently co-creative director of Prada.

By 2010, Ackermann had built an empire with his distinctive designs, receiving no shortage of offers to succeed big names in the industry. Likened to the revolutionary Yves Saint Laurent, he turned down the opportunity to replace Martin Margiela at his namesake label, and Karl Lagerfeld famously named him as his chosen successor at Chanel. With so many accolades under his belt, it’s no surprise that Ackermann was appointed as the Creative Director of LVMH owned fashion house Berluti in 2016, an accomplished feat for a primarily womenswear-based designer at a menswear label. Despite only designing three seasons before leaving his post in 2018—during his brief tenure, Ackermann injected a sense of youth into the heritage brand, while staying true to its roots of artisanal craft.

Season after season, Ackermann churns out magnetic pieces which have made him a favourite for celebrities, counting Kanye West amongst his loyal fans. Ackermann endearingly shares “I never contacted them. I would never dare. I'm far too shy for it”. It’s also worth mentioning that West has in part, popularised certain pieces. Early on that decade, (and some would argue, to this day) there was a time where anything worn by Kanye would be discussed in great detail by his devoted followers on forums and Facebook groups. Love him or hate him, his influence in shaping the landscape of modern menswear is undeniable. Around 2014, Kanye regularly sported Ackermann’s designs, from the burgundy velour sweatsuit which he wore to the 2015 Grammy Awards, to more versatile everyday pieces, like the iconic drop-crotch trousers. And of course, we have to discuss the famous red velvet bomber. The Weeknd once said “For my generation, the bomber jacket is like a replacement for the suit jacket. It's a piece that men wear every day, and it's something that I would wear for any occasion, whether it's on the street or going to an awards ceremony.” And it seems that statement rings true. The very same piece was also worn by A$AP Rocky and Miguel, and it’s still heralded as a grail by fashion fanatics (and currently comes at a heavy price tag of $4000 on eBay).

Rappers aside, Ackermann’s work, whether it’s Berluti or his own namesake label, has earned him ardent fans in the upper echelons of Hollywood, like Tilda Swinton, Janet Jackson, and Timothée Chalamet. The latter, named ‘The Most Influential Man in Fashion’ by Vogue in 2019, regards Ackermann’s designs as a permanent fixture in his wardrobe rotation. In 2017, Chalamet wore a purple suede leather jacket from Berluti for the premiere of Call Me by Your Name at the Berlin film festival. In 2018, he emerged in the Italian brand again, wearing the iconic all-white tuxedo on the red carpet of the Oscars. It doesn’t hurt either that the young star is known for dressing himself. Chalamlet’s ensemble of choice to the Venice Film Festival in 2019, a belted silky silver suit, resulted in a meteoric 806% increase in searches for Ackermann. The same year, he was also named as the third “most engaged with” designer on Instagram, just behind Alessandro Michele of Gucci and Fenty Puma.

If standing ovations and the applause at Haider Ackermann shows is anything to go by, it’s reflective of how loved and celebrated both the man and the label are. Considering how much he has influenced the streetwear landscape (as evidenced with his bestselling velvet sweatsuits and bomber jackets), it’s intriguing to note how Ackermann has never once succumbed to passing trends or relied on social media. Instead, his designs have continued to draw in esteemed tastemakers and style dictators off its own accord, a true testament to his artistry and talent.

HEAT x Haider Ackermann

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