By  on June 7, 2011

Just hours after landing in New York on Sunday, Haider Ackermann has something to get off his chest: He is not, contrary to popular reporting, Belgian. Born in Colombia, he was adopted by French parents who then traveled throughout Algeria, Ethiopia and Chad for his cartographer-father’s career. “I’m absolutely French, even though I don’t belong anywhere, because even in France I’m a stranger,” said Ackermann, on this day sitting in a corner chair inside the Mercer Hotel lobby. The mistake stems from his schooling; he studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium, which counts Dries Van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester as alumni. (Demeulemeester and Ackermann share the same Belgian investor, Anne Chapelle.)

This story first appeared in the June 7, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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