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Dries Van Noten: Inspired by Chanel, Dior, Cecil Beaton, Everything

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"When we were studying at the Royal Antwerp Academy we were taught to seek inspiration from everyone, everything and everywhere," Belgian designer Dries Van Noten tells Dazed Digital in a rare interview. "From Francis Bacon to Vassareli, Coco Chanel to Christian Dior, Cecil Beaton, musicians, architects?the list is endless."

One of the most iconic designers of our time, Van Noten claims to have been a disaster of teenager in the 1970s, but never even considered a career outside of fashion. To this day, his own stores are influenced by his father's shops, where Van Noten spent his free time as a child.

I think by my father owning a store, I was definitely aware of the commercial aspect of selling clothes. His shop was a place I enjoyed spending time in as a boy, so I learned things almost by osmosis at times, by literally just being around all the action and not really despite myself. As for our stores, my passion for art, antiques and architecture is that strong that it just made sense to go in that direction with our boutiques. As for going into interiors on a permanent basis, I think that in opening more and more stores around the world, my appetite is sufficiently whet for that aspect of my career for now.
· Fashion icon: Dries van Noten [Dazed Digital]