Haider Ackermann was born in 1970 in Colombia. He was adopted by a French couple and educated all over the world, since his father worked for Amnesty International. He did his baccalaureate in the Netherlands, then moved to Belgium to study at Antwerp's Royal Academy.
Due to financial reasons, he left the academy after three years. He interned with John Galliano and Wim Neels. He showed his design sketches to his friend Raf Simons, who encouraged him to start up on his own and helped him with fabric manufacturers and press agents.
Haider presented his debut collection during Paris Fashion Week of March 2003 for Fall of that year. It was lean-lined elegant austerity, textured with arresting detail. Buyers crowded in crying words like "sophisticated" and "beautiful".
Joy Yaffe of Ruffo Research approached him at the show and offered him the job of Designer for Ruffo. They are well-known for encouraging young designers at the cutting edge of fashion. He accepted the post committing to two seasons. The first was Fall/Winter 2003.
However, the second collection was not to be. Ruffo faced some difficulties and had to suspend their Ruffo Research project in January 2003.
Ackermann went ahead with his own label. During Paris Fashion Week of October 2003, he showed his collection for Spring/Summer 2004. It was a cool and graceful collection using a dark palette of graphite grey, petrol blue, black and white. He included sporty perforated synthetics cut into skinny racer-back vests and harem pants. He also had softly strapped bondage trousers, tough black leather shorts and many pencil skirts.
In 2003, Ackermann has also been elected a member of the French Fashion Federation, the governing body of French Haute Couture.
In December 2004, Haider won the prestigious Swiss Textiles award which is presented at the GWAND fashion festival in Lucerne, Switzerland. He was presented with 100,000 euros prize.