Born in Antwerp in 1958, Dries Van Noten is the third generation in a family of tailors. His family background ensured that he was introduced to the world of fashion, its rites and traditions from the youngest age. In 1976, at the age of 18, he entered the fashion design course of Antwerp's Royal Academy. While continuing his studies, Van Noten began to work as a freelance designer fro commercial collections for a Belgian manufacturer.
In September of 1986, Dries Van Noten opened a tiny eponymous boutique in Antwerp's gallery arcade. Here he sold his mens and womens collections, which were initially made from the same fabrics. In July 2000, Dries Van Noten moved into the 60,000 sq ft warehouse on Godefriduskaai, Antwerp. In January 2007, Dries Van Noten opened a boutique in Paris.
Dries Van Noten has been entirely self-financed since the beginning of his career and now sells his mens, womens and accessories collections all over the world.