When you think of designers that produce cutting-edge, fashion-forward designs, who comes to mind? For us, it’s Viktor&Rolf. The haute couture fashion designers have been in sync with their visionary designs for almost thirty years—and they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
How It All Began
In 1969, Victor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren were born in The Netherlands but they didn’t cross paths until about 23 years later. They were both studying fashion at Arnhem Academy of Art and Design when they met and moved to Paris after graduation for an internship. They saw amazing talent in each other and paired up to compete at the Hyeres Fashion Festival, where they won three awards. They quickly realized they were a power duo and formed their own luxury fashion house titled Viktor&Rolf in 1993.
The pair have always been known to push the boundaries when it comes to fashion. In 1998, they produced an unauthorized fashion show during Paris Fashion Week and debuted their first haute-couture collection “Atomic Bomb”. The collection featured a little black dress and tuxedo full of balloons and party accessories. That’s when Viktor&Rolf started really gaining attention in the fashion world.
More than a decade later, in 2000, the duo started their ready-to-wear collection (which lasted for 15 years) and entered into the high-end market. To mark their 10-year anniversary, the Fashion Museum in Paris displayed a retrospective of their work and in 2005 they opened their first shop in Milan. True to their out-of-the-box aesthetics, the shop features upside down logos, chandeliers emerging from the floor and chairs hanging from the ceiling.
The next year was crucial to the Viktor&Rolf name. The year they opened the Milan store was the same year they collaborated with L’Oreal to create their very first perfume “Flowerbomb”, which would later end up being a very important side of the business. L’Oreal had seen the designers’ passion for storytelling and Viktor&Rolf were ecstatic to create a fragrance that allowed them to spread a positive message for beautiful women everywhere.
In 2006 they had another collaboration—this time with H&M. They created a capsule collection for the clothing store which included their very first wedding dress. Fast forward to 2017 when they introduced their own bridal line “Mariage” which is notably distributed in the U.S., Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Asia.
The Empire Today
In order to grow the business into a wider range of products and stores, Viktor&Rolf needed a major stakeholder. In 2008, Italian clothing magnate Renzo Rosso bought controlling interest in the company. The duo continued to build their fragrances lines including their men’s line “Spicebomb” in 2012 and “Bonbon” in 2014. This also allowed them to work on multiple partnerships and collaborations including Berlin-based fashion company, Zalando, Swiss premium underwear label Calida & French lingerie company Aubade.
Today, the Viktor&Rolf name is synonymous with creative, unique, and surprising couture fashion. The duo consider themselves artists and love telling stories through unexpected elegance, provocative couture and conceptual glamour. Their gowns feature slim silhouettes with added flamboyance and elaborate draping. You can definitely expect the unexpected with every daring collection.
Over the last five years, Viktor&Rolf have been working towards sustainability. Several of their collections include up-cycled fabrics and materials from previous collections and local suppliers in Amsterdam. The designers say they are always willing to work towards building a better brand and continuing their great friendship—something they value more than the company itself.
Viktor&Rolf are known for their modern approach to bridalwear, and their latest collection is no exception. For the Spring/Summer 2022 collection, the gowns are glamorous with a bridal twist. We see elements of Hollywood styling with romantic accents on the duchesse drama gown—boasting a high-low skirt, strapless neckline with a v-slit and large, detachable puffed sleeves. It’s extravagant and dramatic—the perfect combo.
Speaking of drama, the plunging bow-back mermaid gown brings the wow factor and is super chic. The dress is crafted out of mikado, allowing it to mold perfectly to the bride’s body. The signature bow on the lower back is the icing on the cake. Another dreamy gown from the collection is this smocked tulle gown. The sweetheart neckline is classic and feminine but it’s all about the cascading ruffles on the skirt for us. Bonus: it has pockets!
Want to dress like a queen? The Autumn/Winter 2021 collection is perfect for you. The fashion collection, titled “The New Royals”, is inspired by the new generation of royals and their attempt to show humanity behind the institution. The designers say it’s the perfectly imperfect juxtaposition between what’s real and fake.
The clothes themselves are nothing short of fabulous—the intricate details, the exquisite fabrics and the sparkly embellishments are truly fit for royalty. Our choice for sitting on the royal throne? The short bejeweled dress with the pastel egg-shaped cape full of faux fur. We love the natural raffia pink collar and stunning brandenburger closure. Plus, the glittery pink purse is to die for.
We couldn’t talk about our favorite looks without mentioning one of the most iconic collections. The duo literally made a fashion statement (while also creating a social media frenzy) with their Spring/Summer 2018 Collection, featuring bold exclamations across 18 tulle ball gowns.
So many celebrities were in love with these sassy phrases and full-of-life gowns. 24-year-old YouTube sensation Poppy strutted down the red carpet in a yellow and orange number for the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards. Actress Busy Philipps also jumped on the craze and posted this photo on Instagram with the caption “MONDAYS, AMIRIGHT? 💜”.
Singers are no strangers to dressing up and wearing costumes, so we loved seeing Rita Ora in this bright and bold number from Viktor&Rolf’s Spring 2021 collection. She shared this photo on Instagram before she hit the stage for her Sydney Mardi Gras performance.
Katy Perry is the queen of dress up, so it was very fitting for her to dress as the Queen of Hearts for the 19th season premiere of American Idol. The white trench coat, from Viktor&Rolf’s Fall 2020 collection, features colorful hearts as an outline of the singer, creating a simple and classic look. We have serious heart eyes for both of these totally different looks!