Brandon Wen succeeds Walter Van Beirendonck as head of fashion education Antwerp Academy
The American fashion designer and performance artist Brandon Wen succeeds Walter Van Beirendonck as artistic coordinator of the fashion program of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. He will not only lead the department, but also teach and supervise students.
Brandon Wen herself studied fashion at the Antwerp Academy. He also studied in New York and worked in Paris as a designer for Rick Owens, Michèle Lamy and Maison Lemarié/Chanel, among others. In addition, he was an organizer and teacher associated with the international Arts of Fashion Foundation.
For Wen, his appointment is a dream come true. “I couldn’t be more excited,” he responds. “With due regard for the tradition of creativity and artistry – characteristics that made me fall in love with the Academy instantly – we want to inspire a new generation of artists and designers to maneuver at the intersection of fantasy and reality. As a teacher and artistic director I want to live life with the same guts as in my personal and artistic journey. I am filled with humility and pride and can’t wait to get started.”
Walter Van Beirendonck said goodbye to the fashion department of the Antwerp Academy at the beginning of June. He turned 65 and retired. Van Beirendonck was also an ex-student of the Academy. He headed the fashion department for 15 years and taught there for almost 40 years. The course is now regarded as one of the most influential fashion courses in the world and attracts students from all over.
By choosing Brandon Wen, the Academy wants to give the fashion education an even more international image. “With Brandon Wen, we are radically opting for an international, interdisciplinary and innovative profile,” says Johan Pas, head of the Academy and chairman of the selection committee.