Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, more commonly known as Viktor and Rolf were born in Netherlands in 1969.
Viktor & Rolf met while studying fashion at the Arnhem art academyin 1992. After graduating they moved to Paris, interning for brands such as Maison Martin Margiela, designing their own clothes in the evenings and presenting them in the art circuit.
In 1993, Viktor & Rolf won the Festival d’Hyeres prize.
Viktor & Rolf’s first clothing collection was shown at a competition called Salon European des Jeunes Stylistes in 1993. The collection was comprised of preexisting pieces of garments blended into a collage, to create new clothing.
In 1998, Viktor & Rolf put on an unauthorized, underground fashion show during Paris Fashion Week designed to attract members of the press. Ready-to-wear and their menswear label “Monsieur” were to follow over the next five years.
With their reputation as fashion designers and artists, Viktor & Rolf have recently segued more into ready-to-wear collections, yet without detracting from their reputations as designers of art. Their first ready-to-wear collection, in collaboration with Gibo SpA, was launched in 2000; the lines was more wearable and functional, like jeans, ruffled shirts, and sexy pantsuits, which exhibited the designers’ fondness for masculine styling for women.
In 2003, the Fashion Museum in Paris presented a 10-year retrospective of the designers’ work.
In 2005 they opened their first shop in the Golden Quadrilateral (Quadrilatero d’Oro) in Milan (which closed in 2008), and were contracted by L’Oréal to develop their first perfume, called Flowerbomb. In 2006, their first men’s perfume, Antidote, was introduced in the US.
In November 2006, Viktor & Rolf followed Karl Lagerfeld and Stella McCartney in designing a line for the Swedish-based retailer H&M.
In 2008 an exhibition entitled “The House of Viktor & Rolf” was presented at the Barbican Art Gallery, celebrating the duo’s 15-year anniversary. Key pieces from 1992 to 2008 were remade as detailed miniatures and presented on hand-made porcelain dolls, in a large doll house.
In 2008, Viktor & Rolf announced that Renzo Rosso —owner of Diesel Jeans, chairman of Only the Brave (OTB)— had taken a controlling stake in their company. Viktor & Rolf stated that this deal is meant to allow their company to put out a wider range of products and to open more stores.
Adhering to their reputation to intrigue and fascinate, Viktor & Rolf created Le parfum to awaken the fashion industry’s senses with a perfume that provided no scent. The 250 limited edition bottles of Le parfum were never meant to be opened; another step clearly meant to integrate fashion as an art form.