"When we were in our first year, the Italian designers were on the rise. You suddenly had such people as Giorgio Armani and Gianni Versace, or a label like Fiorucci. At the same time, there was also the punk movement, and that was also an inspiration for us: we wore plastic Fiorucci raincoats over Armani suits. That was very new and fresh. Martin [Margiela] and I went to Florence to go shopping, so we could wear the new look of the season for the open days at the school. In those days, it was mostly Italy that attracted us and where most things were happening. But grad-ually, in the course of the years that followed, the French asserted themselves: Thierry Mugler, Claude Montana, France Andrevie, Jean Paul Gaultier, Sonia Rykiel and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. A true creative explosion. These designers were young and dynamic and approached fashion in a different way. A little later, the Japanese were also an important source of inspiration. I especially admired ‘Comme des Garçons’ and Yohji Yamamoto. All those designers broke through during the four years that we were studying at the Academy. That gave us an enormous incentive and strengthened our faith in fashion. So much was happening. We saw that anything was possible, that influences and impulses came from all directions and cultures. Moreover, at that time, that new fashion was also being worn and purchased. It was visible everywhere. That was a fantastic feeling. It was in that atmosphere that we grew up."
- Walter van Beirendonck, Fashion Antwerp Academy 50 (via vroomheid)