He graduated in 1980 from the Royal Arts Academy in Antwerp. Together with Dirk Van Saene, Dries van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Marina Yee (graduated in 1981) and Dirk Bikkembergs (graduated in 1982) he became known as the Antwerp Six. Usually full of sadomasochistic references offered in a variety of loud unusual color combinations, Van Beirendonck's clothes have a tendency to tell a very loud, graphic story. In 1999, he was awarded the honorary title of "Cultural Ambassador of Flanders". In 2001, he was the curator for the exhibition Mode 2001 Landed-Geland in Antwerp.