‘It’s something other than a perfectly ironed suit.’

Haider Ackermann on transforming the house of Berluti.

Interview by Farid Chenoune
Film by Dexter Navy


Since 2016, Haider Ackermann has been in charge of Berluti’s steady transformation. As the French luxury house’s creative director, he has been bringing his eye – trained as much by the landscapes, deserts and foreign cities of his nomadic childhood as the rigour of his training at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp – to the move from single-product specialist (beautiful, handmade footwear) to complete fashion brand (men’s ready-to-wear, leather goods and eyewear).

Ackermann set up his own label in 2004, and since then has steadily built a unique vision of contemporary womenswear: richly hued fabrics, sensuously draped and nonchalantly styled with precise tailoring. (It’s been called an underground vision of new female dandyism). Yet, it wasn’t until Spring-Summer 2014 that the designer first attempted menswear. It was this collection that caught the eye of Antoine Arnault, Berluti’s CEO, and two years later, Arnault asked Ackermann to replace Alessandro Sartori.

At Berluti’s studios on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris, Ackermann took time out from preparing his third season to talk to System about his peripatetic upbringing, the art of shoe-making, and his vision for new Berluti.

Ackermann also travelled to Los Angeles, where he styled a portfolio and film shot by Dexter Navy. Watch the film above and see the images in System issue No. 10. Click to buy.

Directed by Diego Andrade