One of Antwerp’s brightest young stars, Haider Ackermann has seen many more ports than the one fronting the town in which he now lives and works. Born in Santa Fe de Bogotá, Colombia in 1971, Haider Ackermann grew up living in various cities throughout Europe and Africa. After graduating from high school in The Netherlands, he then moved to Belgium to join Antwerp’s prestigious Academy of Fine Arts. He left the Academy after 3 years to start working for different designers, and after saving money and taking encouragement from his friends and acquaintances, Ackermann finally took the plunge and presented his first, self-financed women’s collection in Paris for A/W 2002. His subtle, dignified and sensuous clothes immediately struck a chord with buyers and editors, as they did with Italian leather manufacturer Ruffo. Just two weeks after his debut show, Haider was hired as the head designer for Ruffo Research and commissioned to create two collections (S/S and A/w 2003) whilst continuing to produce his own line. Haider received the prestigious Swiss Textiles Award at the 2004 Grand Fashion Festival, and his sensitivity with drape and textures shows through in every collection.