The move will mark a change in direction for the label, which was bought by New Guards Group co-founder Claudio Antonioli in 2020. The announcement was made with a series of images starring the designer himself wearing pieces from the brand's archive dating back to the '90s.
Ann Demeulemeester said in its official announcement, "Authorship and autobiography gain centrality, as Ludovic de Saint Sernin shapes the Ann Demeulemeester traits around his vision, proclivities and individuality, offering a first-person reading and the connection with today’s audience that comes from that. Sensuality, tension, silhouette, fluidity, wildness and a graphic feel are defining pillars of the language Ludovic de Saint Sernin is about to build as he traces the new course of Ann Demeulemeester, injecting his approach to fashion as a tool to shape and free one’s presence and appearance."
De Saint Sernin, aged 27, was born in Brussels and raised in Paris. The designer is loved for his gender-fluid creations with fans including Dua Lipa, Hailey Bieber, Troye Sivan and Bad Bunny. Prior to joining Ann Demeulemeester, the creative graduated from the École Supérieure des Arts Appliqués Duperré and launched his eponymous label in 2017. Before that, he built his design career at Balmain.
Ann Demeulemeester has been run by an in-house design team since July 2020, when its previous creative director Sébastien Meunier left the brand, while Demeulemeester herself departed almost a decade ago in 2013. The designer, one of the Antwerp Six, first started showing in Paris in 1992 and quickly built a cult following, expanding with menswear in 1996. While she's not officially with her namesake brand anymore, she's known to maintain a close relationship with the label. Currently, Demeulemeester works on a variety of ventures spanning ceramics, pottery, homeware and lighting.