“Dries Mania”: why are fashion fans flocking to vintage Dries Van Noten?

“Dries Mania”: why are fashion fans flocking to vintage Dries Van Noten?

Fans didn't see the news coming. On March 19, Dries Van Noten announced that he was leaving the artistic direction of the brand he founded almost 40 years earlier. Club blow. The absolute master of prints and timeless elegance is bowing out. In a magnificent text, the 65-year-old Antwerp resident explains that he wants to give way to new creative minds, to youth. A decision taken at the height of his glory: if he is more hyped than ever, Dries Van Noten has never ceased to be acclaimed. Its audience mixes lifelong fans and the younger generation who did not experience its heyday in the 90s, but appreciate its sobriety which dreams of colors. Its last show will take place next June, it will be the spring-summer 2025 men's collection.

A heartbreak for his many fans who, in the process, gave birth to a phenomenon: “Dries Van Noten Mania”. Understand that you need to buy authentic Dries, quickly, before it leaves the ship. And if possible, vintage, second-hand Dries Van Noten, which bears witness to the glorious times of the designer. Among these bargain hunters, Beka Gvishiani, the author of the Stylenotcom Instagram account, followed by 349,000 subscribers. He was one of the first to express his desire to get his hands on Dries Van Noten. On social networks, other users have shared their good deals to obtain the brand's emblematic pieces. Enough to boost demand. The number of searches for vintage pieces by Dries Van Noten has doubled since the announcement of his departure from artistic direction, tells us Mathieu Boyer, Global Corporate Communications Manager at Vestiaire Collective, the second-hand platform. In the crosshairs of the Dries-maniacs? Bermuda shorts and printed suits, the iconic teddy jacket flocked with Marilyn Monroe's face from 2015, or even a blue floral skirt from the spring-summer 2001 collection… But how can we explain this frenzy?

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© Spotlight

A creator who fascinates

“When I heard the news, I asked myself ‘but what am I going to wear now?’” confesses Beka Gvishiani. This fashion fan treated himself to Dries Van Noten as his first luxury piece. “I still have these pants I bought ten years ago, and they are still impeccable.” His first instinct? Telling himself that it is urgent to go buy as many pieces as possible from this designer whom he considers to be a master thinker of clothing: “It’s thanks to him that I started to wear colors, and to mix colors in a way I didn't know. Her clothes are perfect, as are her fashion shows and the atmosphere that emanates from them. » To understand this phenomenon, we must focus on the link that unites clothing to the emotion it provides. Serge Carreira, director of the emerging brands initiative within the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, explains to us that it is above all a great love for fashion. More than ever, it fascinates and thrills the hearts of those concerned. “Beyond that, it was an event that had a great impact in the community. There is this idea that a great fashion master is leaving, a page is being turned. When you have admiration and passion for someone, it's like you want to own a part of them. » An analysis shared by journalist and author Sophie Fontanel, who explains that it is truly an act of love for the designer. To materialize this passion, fashion fans want to obtain a piece that they will keep preciously. But why is Dries Van Noten causing such a wave of obsession? “He’s a creator who fascinates,” explains Serge Carreira. He is one of the last still active of the ''Antwerp Six'' and he has managed to always remain faithful to his art. Dries Van Noten is one of the few to have established a style, beyond having been fashionable at a given time. He kept this authenticity in his approach. »

Is fashion nostalgic?

Sophie Fontanel thinks the phenomenon will be interesting to watch when her latest women's collection hits stores at the end of the year, this winter. “It reminds me of Phoebe Philo leaving Céline. At the time, everyone went to the store, me first, to buy me something,” she remembers. Why this approach? “Because we were wondering what was going to happen next. For Dries Van Noten, we wonder if we are going to have more guys like that,” explains the journalist. Is fashion nostalgic by nature? We know, in an almost philosophical way, humans are deeply nostalgic, and always think that the past was better. For Serge Carreira, there is something almost fetishistic in owning an object from the past: “The idea is to have a memory of an era. Paradoxically, of an era that we have known or not… It’s a projection: we want to be part of it somewhere.” Sophie Fontanel plays down the situation in a very imagined way: “Fashion is a Brittany spaniel. All of a sudden she's mourning the departure of a creator we adored, and the next thing she knows she's wagging her tail because a successor is coming and it's exciting. The best that can happen to fashion is that it moves. »

Investing in Dries Van Noten: the idea of ​​the century?

We can also wonder if there is not a pecuniary motive behind this Dries Van Noten gold rush. Is it time to make the coup of the century by buying Dries Van Noten before prices explode? “I don’t know if that’s the real motivation,” analyzes Serge Carreira. In fashion, there are very few pieces that increase in value over time: only the most iconic pieces. But I think there is motivation to invest in a meaningful piece because it will be one of the last drawn by the master. » On the side of Vestiaire Collective, a second-hand sales platform for luxury pieces, we see the keyword “Dries Van Noten” panicking the counters. Mathieu Boyer, too, believes that it is above all the deep love of fashion enthusiasts for the designer which motivates the purchase. With perhaps a business ulterior motive. “It regularly happens that in this type of situation, and depending on the evolution of demand in this specific case for Dries Van Noten's creations, the pieces increase in value,” he confirms. He points out, however, that prices are set by users. The vintage category sells 30% faster on the platform, so don't delay if you also want your share of Dries Van Noten.

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