International fame for Antwerp-based creatives
Lots of talent in as many trades
2 minutes reading time
Antwerp is regarded as a global hub of creativity and innovative entrepreneurship. Creative talent studies in Antwerp, founds companies and flourishes in the city. Antwerp’s creative economy is a dynamic sector; the scene is quite vibrant. Fashion has been indisputably associated with Antwerp since the Antwerp Six. But the boom is not exclusive to the fashion industry: Antwerp’s creative experts are also succeeding internationally, and its designers are highly regarded worldwide.
There is the illustrator Fatinha Ramos, whose atmospheric, poetic fantasy worlds are praised from New York and her motherland, Portugal, to China. Letter designer Jo De Baerdemaeker is a welcome guest at international typography conferences. He designed the city of Antwerp’s poster font and the Flemish government’s new font family, in addition to Tibetan and Mongolian fonts. In 2017 he was the first to be awarded the title of New Flemish Masters in the Fine Arts for his career.
Brecht Vandenbroucke’s satirical, multicoloured illustrations have a simplicity reminiscent of Tintin, and sometimes touch upon the shortcomings of today’s super-connected society. They have appeared in international news media such as The New York Times and Le Monde. Guillaume Van der Stighelen co-founded Duval Guillaume and spearheaded advertising campaigns that have become worldwide classics—who could ever forget “Leeeeeeeeo”? Designer Rizon Parein creates 3D simulations for the world’s finest. Nike, Apple, Facebook, Nespresso, Jay Z, Dr. Dre—they all approached the former graffiti artist for their artwork.
Then there is Axel Enthoven, the man behind the Yellow Window agency, whose services as a product developer and design consultant are in demand worldwide. The agency designed the new tram models currently used in Antwerp, Brussels and Rio de Janeiro and a cable car for Toulouse, among other projects. Nedda El-Asmar’s designs have a worldwide reputation for contemporary elegance. Street artist Dzia is internationally renowned for his colourful work, found in unexpected places in the city and along train routes.
With leading figures who are worldwide inspirations, Antwerp is a fertile ground for talent. The city itself hosts more than 9,000 creative companies and Antwerp’s two renowned art colleges—Sint Lucas and the Academy—continue to provide new talent.