Haider Ackermann (born 29 March 1971) is a French designer of ready-to-wear(1) fashion.
Born in Bogotá, Colombia in 1971, he was adopted at the age of nine months by a French Alsatian family. His adoptive father is a mapmaker. Haider Ackermann spent his childhood in Ethiopia, Chad, Algeria and France before the family moved to the Netherlands.
Inspired by the work of Yves Saint Laurent, he went to Belgium in 1994 and took courses in fashion design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. After five months of internship with John Galliano, he worked as an assistant to one of his teachers, the Belgian designer Wim Neels. In the following years he worked for various brands, including Bernhard Willhelm and Patrick Van Ommeslaeghe before working as a designer for Mayerline.
In 2001 Ackermann created his own label and presented his first womens wear collection in March 2001 during Paris fashion week. His 2002 collection drew the attention of house Ruffo, premium leather clothing specialist, which hired him to direct the spring-summer collections and autumn-winter 2003 for Ruffo Research. In 2005 he signed with the Belgian group bvba 32 and set up his studio in Paris.
Ackermann was one of the designers approached to succeed Galliano at Dior, after declining the proposed succession of Martin Margiela. Karl Lagerfeld saw him to be his ideal successor at Chanel, and some commentators called him a "new Yves Saint-Laurent".
Influenced by cultural differences, Ackermann's fashion contrasts and blends dress codes. The simple cuts of his creations are often asymmetric and sewn of different materials, resolutely modern, dynamic and urban areas, using the resources of the high and low culture, developing type clothing streetwear featuring feminine silhouettes sophisticated and refined. His creations have been worn by Tilda Swinton, Penelope Cruz, Victoria Beckham and Janet Jackson.
1) Ready-to-wear or prêt-à-porter (pronounced: [pʁɛ.ta pɔʁ.te]; often abbreviated RTW; "off-the-rack" or "off-the-peg" in casual use) is the term for factory-made clothing, sold in finished condition, in standardized sizes, as distinct from made to measure or bespoke clothing tailored to a particular person's frame. Off-the-peg is sometimes used for items which are not clothing.
Ready-to-wear has rather different connotations in the spheres of fashion and classic clothing. In the fashion industry, designers produce ready-to-wear clothing intended to be worn without significant alteration, because clothing made to standard sizes fits most people. They use standard patterns, factory equipment, and faster construction techniques to keep costs low, compared to a custom-sewn version of the same item. Some fashion houses and fashion designers produce mass-produced and industrially manufactured ready-to-wear lines, while others offer garments that, while not unique, are produced in limited numbers.
Fashion houses that produce a women's haute couture line, such as Chanel, Dior, and Lacroix also produce a ready-to-wear line, which returns a greater profit due to the higher volume turnover of garments and greater availability of the clothing. Relative to couture, ready-to-wear clothing is often more practical and informal, though this may not always be the case. The construction of ready-to-wear clothing is also held to different standard than that of haute couture due to its industrial nature. High-end ready-to-wear lines are sometimes based upon a famous gown or pattern that is then duplicated and advertised to raise the visibility of the designer. Bespoke is custom tailored clothing.
In high-end fashion, ready-to-wear collections are usually presented by fashion houses each season during a period known as Fashion Week. This takes place on a city-wide basis, and the most prominent of these include London, New York, Milan and Paris, and are held twice a year- the Fall/Winter shows take place in February, whilst Spring/Summer collections are shown in September. Smaller lines including the Cruise and Pre-Fall collections, which add to the retail value of a brand, are presented separately at the designer's discretion. Ready-to-wear fashion weeks occur separately and earlier than those of haute couture.