Ann Demeulemeester Leaves Fashion Behind

In a turn of events that rocked fashion consumers and industry authorities alike, couture prodigy Ann Demeulemeester has announced that she will be exiting her namesake company, effective immediately. Citing the need for a change, Demeulemeester made her resignation on Wednesday with a uniquely ceremonious handwritten note, expressing her reasons for the transition as well as her emotions on the departure.

Demeulemeester's signature somber style began its reign over the fashion scene in the '90s after the brand's debut in 1986, writes Cathy Horyn in the New York Times. Upon executing her first presentation in London, Demeulemeester was deemed a designer to watch along with five other new arrivals, collectively called the Antwerp Six due to their Belgian origins. The designer has since charmed consumers with her outlandish combination of dark glamour and sentimental accents, favoring an inky color palette with splashes of white, and unusual silhouettes in her clothing. Demeulemeester famously chose to turn away from convention and trendiness with her brand, instead devising garments with a rebellious and modern look.

According to WWD, Demeulemeester wrote that she felt her goals of artistic expression in fashion had been achieved, saying:

As a young girl, I dreamed of having a voice in fashion. I worked hard to realize this dream and now I feel that I accomplished this mission.

The designer further explained that she feels the label is "an adult brand" and "is able to continue growing without me."

Although Demeulemeester will be sorely missed as the artistic mind behind her brand, the letter issued no definitive statement that the designer will disappear completely from the fashion world. The label will continue on without Demeulemeester, and will show at Paris Fashion Week in February 2014 for Fall/Winter 2014 as previously planned.

Image: anndemeulemeester/Instagram