Haider Ackermann is not new. But for anyone whose exposure to high fashion has come primarily from the legacy luxury houses like Louis Vuitton and Gucci or blogged-about streetwear labels like Vetements and Gosha Rubchinskiy, Haider may have slipped through the cracks. But the designer has built an empire of disheveled luxury that mixes the worlds of royally draped fabrics and edgier punk-inspired pieces. Ackermann has remained a largely individualistic tour de force, delivering an aesthetic that feels like a three-part fusion of Ford and Slimane-era Saint Laurent, a shit load of silk and velvet and his own nomadic life experience.

After launching his namesake label in 2001, Ackermann managed and built his own business for more than 15 years before finally taking on a creative director role at a larger house—and just three years after presenting his first full menswear collection. Though his pedigree had connected him with some of the fashion world’s most prestigious positions, in late 2016 he chose Berluti, a historic 120-year-old menswear label that may not be on the radar of those not fully immersed in today’s filled-to-the-brim fashion calendar.

In his own way, his growing empire remains tightly knit and well-thought-out, a rarity in an ever-faster moving industry. And for the day one followers, seeing his success as he reaches the peak of the industry only further emboldens his incredible story.

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