Museum and collection

MoMu opened its doors in September 2002. In addition to an historical collection of Western European costume and textiles, a continuation of the collection of the former Costume and Textile Museum Vrieselhof, MoMu houses the largest collection of contemporary Belgian fashion.

The collection consists of clothing, accessories, and textiles, as well as more unexpected pieces such as tools, machines for the production of textile, patterns, and fashion show invitations.

MoMu's collection policy focuses on the work of Belgian designers and alumni of the fashion department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Prominent names from the contemporary international fashion world are also represented in the collection. 

The collection grows every year through acquisitions, loans, and numerous donations, and now consists of over 33,000 pieces. This makes the MoMu collection the largest and most important collection of contemporary Belgian fashion in the world. The museum continuously receives international loan requests for pieces from its designer collection.

Image of the collection depot in MoMu with wardrobes on both sides in which museum objects hang or lie down in bags or boxes.
In the collection depot, museum objects are kept in optimum conditions.
MoMu Antwerp | Stany Dederen

In 2011, the historical collection was expanded with an important acquisition. Over 2,000 objects from the 18th, 19th, and first half of the 20th century from a private collection from Ms. Jacoba de Jonge were acquired and complement the existing MoMu collection.

In addition to the fashion and costume collection, the museum also houses a vast library collection. The MoMu library is a scientific library for historic and contemporary fashion, textiles, and ethnic costume. With over 15,000 books, an archive full of valuable reference works, hundreds of contemporary and historic magazines, and a fast-growing digital database of images, the MoMu library is one of the top libraries in the world in its field.

In 2017, the study collection was added to the museum's collection. The study collection is a separate collection intended to teach visitors about fashion by allowing them to study objects up close. The study collection can be used for scientific research, as teaching material, or as inspiration. You will be able consult the study collection from Autumn 2018 onwards.

The study collection comprises historical, contemporary and ethnic clothing, fragment and samples. This more accessible collection is made up from a donation by Ms. Jacoba de Jonge, a long-term loan from the department of Conservation-Restoration at the University of Antwerp, as well as pieces from MoMu.

In 2002 MoMu presented its first exhibition in the historical Modenatie building on the Nationalestraat. Since then, MoMu presents two temporary temporary exhibitions every year. Smaller exhibitions and installations are presented in the gallery on the ground floor.

MoMu exhibitions are characterised by their immersive scenography. As a visitor, you do not only see the objects, you are submerged in the world of the designer or theme. For every exhibition, the exhibition space is completely transformed, making each visit a unique experience.

  • "Olivier Theyskens - She walks in beauty" in 2017-2018
    1/17
    MoMu Antwerp | Stany Dederen
  • "Rik Wouters & the private utopia" in 2016-2017
    2/17
    MoMu Antwerp | Stany Dederen
  • "Game Changers. Reinventing the 20th century silhouette" in 2016
    3/17
    MoMu Antwerp | Stany Dederen
  • "Footprint. The track of shoes in fashion" in 2015-2016
    4/17
    MoMu Antwerp | Koen De Waal
  • "Dries Van Noten. Inspriations" in 2015
    5/17
    MoMu Antwerp | Koen De Wael
  • "Dries Van Noten. Inspirations" in 2015
    6/17
    MoMu Antwerp | Koen De Wael
  • ""Birds of Paradise. Plumes and Feathers in Fashion" in 2014
    7/17
    MoMu Antwerp | Boy Kortekaas
  • "Happy Birthday Dear Academie. 50 years Fashion Department" in 2013-2014
    8/17
    MoMu Antwerp | Boy Kortekaas
  • "Walter Van Beirendonck: Dream the World Awake" in 2011-2012
    9/17
    MoMu Antwerp | Ronald Stoops
  • "Unravel. Knitwear in fashion" in 2011
    10/17
    MoMu Antwerp | Frederik Vercruysse
  • "Stephen Jones. The accent of fashion" in 2010-2011
    11/17
    MoMu Antwerp |Frederik Vercruyse
  • "Maison Martin Margiela '20' the exhibition" in 2008-2009
    12/17
    MoMu Antwerp | Ronald Stoops
  • "Bernhard Willhelm: het totaal rappel" in 2007-2008
    13/17
    MoMu Antwerp | Ronald Stoops
  • "Dreamshop: Yohji Yamamoto" in 2006
    14/17
    MoMu Antwerp | Ronald Stoops
  • "Malign Muses: When Fashion Turns Back" in 2004-2005
    15/17
    MoMu Antwerp | Ronald Stoops
  • "GenovanversaeviceversA" in 2003-2004
    16/17
    MoMu Antwerp | Jacques Sonk
  • "Selection 1: Achter de Schermen" in 2002
    17/17
    MoMu Antwerp | Koen De Waal

A MoMu exhibition contains both objects from the MoMu collection and objects from the collections or renown institutions, fashion houses and collectors around the world. Pieces from the MoMu collection itself travel worldwide to be presented in international exhibitions.

From 2020 onwards, MoMu will have additional exhibition space for its collection. Visitors will be able to get acquainted with Belgian fashion and discover the inspiring stories of the Antwerp Six and the fashion department of the Royal Academy. What is it that makes Antwerp a fashion city and what exactly is the DNA of Belgian fashion?

Study collection

The study collection is a separate collection intended to teach visitors about fashion by allowing them to study objects up close. The study collection can be used for scientific research, as teaching material, or as inspiration. You will be able consult the study collection from Autumn 2018 onwards.

Library

Due to the renovation, the library is currently closed. From Autumn 2018 onwards, we would like to welcome you in the reading room of DIVA, the renewed Diamond and Silver Museum at the Suikerrui in Antwerp.

Donating a piece

Do you wish to donate a piece to the MoMu collection? Send an email with photos of the piece and a description. A MoMu team member will contact you shortly.

All exhibitions

Read more about the current extra muros exhibitions or be inspired by MoMu's exhibition archive (2002-2018).