“Outwear is a real challenge for me”


Haider Ackermann, May 3, 2024, in New York. He is wearing his PBI hoody, the profits from the sale of which will be donated to the organization. WILLY VANDERPERRE

“They’ll be surprised, that’s for sure! »exclaims Haider Ackermann, a few days before the official announcement of his appointment as creative director of Canada Goose, the Canadian brand of cold-weather parkas. ” They “Those are the “fashion people”her ” medium ” as he calls it, the one in which he has been successfully operating for more than twenty years. Surprised, and for good reason. Since his brand was put on hiatus in 2020, the designer’s big comeback was long overdue, but who would have bet on such a pair?

On paper, Canada Goose and Haider Ackermann are a bit of a culture shock. Outwear (“outer clothing”) made in Canada with a very distinctive badge versus the “Parisian couture” spirit, discreet and refined, of an esthete renowned for his sense of cut. Let’s say that a priori Ackermann is closer to Halston, Grès and Lanvin than to mountaineering down jackets.

It was Dani Reiss, the president and CEO of Canada Goose, who contacted the designer six months ago to offer him the newly created position. “I was amazed, I was the first surprised that he thought of me. But I like it when things are strange, it makes me even more curious. I understood that the brand needed to take a new direction and I immediately adhered to its philosophy, Haider Ackermann explains to us, this Friday, May 10, on the terrace of a café on 9e arrondissement of Paris, the neighborhood where he lives, dressed all in black, a small polka dot scarf tucked under his shirt collar. And then, outwear is a real challenge for me and it’s always good to be able to expand your range of expression. » He stops and looks at us with his piercing black eyes, before adding: “Continuing to surprise, being where you’re not expected, that’s good, isn’t it? »

Read also: The down jacket, queen of snow and cities

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Born in Colombia, Haider Ackermann, 53, was adopted by French parents from Alsace. His adoptive father was a cartographer, and as a child he traveled extensively across Africa, from Chad to Ethiopia. Memories that would later influence his aesthetic. The images of the Tuareg in the desert will be found in its subtle plays of draping and braiding, its silhouettes wrapped in fabrics.

Spaghetti straps

Attracted by fashion, he studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, then landed his first job, as an assistant, with one of his teachers, the Belgian designer Wim Neels, before working for the designers Bernhard Willhelm or even Patrick Van Ommeslaeghe. He launched his brand in 2003, encouraged by Raf Simons, then became artistic director of the Berluti house from 2016 to 2018. A certain talent and a career that earned him unanimous recognition in the fashion industry.

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