Brussels strikes a balance between the cosy charm of luxury boutiques uptown and the constantly changing creativity shown by young designers, spontaneously grouped together downtown, around rue Antoine Dansaert.
Ten years ago, the famous group of Flemish fashion designers called « Stijl"", including Ann Demeulemeester and Dries Van Noten, moved here. Since then, the number of new designers opening stores in the area is incalculable: famous unknowns, such as Aleksandra Paszkowska, the rising star of fashion, and her « Y-dress » or Marina Yee, one of the Antwerp gang of six who opened her first Brussels shop in April, rue du Marché aux porcs next door.
Just down the road, the boutique and workshop belonging to Christophe Coppens set down its hat boxes rue Léon Lepage. He is the lucky neighbour of Jean-Paul Knott and Martin Margiela, the leading figure for a whole generation who opened his second shop in this area, after Tokyo and before Paris.The area abounds with wild and wacky boutiques, maybe drawn here because of its important gay community. Or maybe the other way round?