Ann Demeulemeester is Out

Antwerp-based designer, Ann Demeulemeester, is leaving her namesake label. The designer, who is part of the epically influential Antwerp 6 (along with Walter Van Beirendonck, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs, and Marina Yee, as well as Martin Margiela, who some call an honorary seventh member), graduated from Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1981, before launching her collection in 1985.

Demeulemeester's work has become synonymous with the decontructivist movement. Think: austere lines, a slouchy, masculine silhouette and a moody color palette. Of her decision to leave, Ann D. wrote in a letter that is making the rounds online: "A new time is coming for my personal life and the brand," and that the brand now has "it's own identity and legacy that is able to continue growing without me."

Her final collections, men's and women's Fall 2014, will be shown together on January 27th in Paris. The house will remain in the hands of Anne Chapelle, who has been managing director of Demeulemeester’s Antwerp-based house since 1994, and took a majority stake in Demeulemeester’s company in 2005. The company was also partly owned by Demeuelemeester’s husband, Patrick Robyn.