Ludovic de Saint Sernin is stepping down from his role as creative director of Ann Demeulemeester after a single season, BoF has learned.
In March, the designer brought new energy to the Belgian label’s turnaround efforts with a debut show that mixed pieces from its archive with punchier production and skin-baring styling.
Momentum continued this spring as influential stockists like MyTheresa renewed their engagement and a key look from the show was worn by Hunter Schafer for Vanity Fair’s Oscar party, giving the relaunch visibility beyond the fashion week set.
But according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter, differences arose between Ann Demeulemeester’s management and De Saint Sernin, a 32-year old who has used sensual, gender-fluid designs and social-media savvy storytelling to elevate his own brand.
Ann Demeulemeester, known for its poetic shows and bohemian-goth aesthetic, relocated from Belgium to Italy after being acquired in 2020 by New Guards Group co-founder Claudio Antonioli. Its leadership face the challenge of reviving a label that has limited awareness among young consumers, and whose historic client base is more loyal to Demeulemeester, the label’s founder, than her namesake brand.
Plans for the label’s next steps are not known. The brand’s small scale and dependence on pricey ready-to-wear is another key challenge: a relaunch is sure to require a heavy financial lift, and the potential upside of investing in buzzy creative talent is unclear.
Both De Saint Sernin and Antonioli declined to comment.