Born and bred in Pretoria, South Africa, Albertus Swanepoel moved to New York City after a seven year career as a critically acclaimed fashion designer in Johannesburg under his Quartus Manna label. In 1987 he won the Coty Award as a top designer in his country.
Albertus trained as a milliner under Janine Galimard, who worked for Balenciaga in Paris in the 50's and 60's. He assisted well-known hat designer Lola for several years on a freelance basis and also Lynne Mackey, a theatrical milliner where he constructed hats for Broadway shows such as Kiss me Kate and Mamma Mia as well as several operas and ballets. In 2007 he briefly acted as style editor for Martha Stewart Wedding Magazine.
In 2004 Albertus began collaborating with several New York designers including Marc by Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler, Thakoon, Carolina Herrera, Peter Som, Erin Fetherston, Diana Von Furstenburg, Alexander Wang, Betsey Jonhson, Nathan Jenden, Costello Tagliapietra, Tommy Hilfiger and Suno.
His namesake label has sold to some of the top retailers in the U.S. -Barneys New York nationwide, Warm, Bird and Bergdorf Goodman Mens in NY,the Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking district. He has a growing international representation (Journal Standard, Tomorrowland, Isetan and L'Essage in Japan, Liberty's and Selfridges in London. He also sells to premium online stores The Line, Moda Operandi and Matches. He regularly receives press in Vogue, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal Magazine, Elle, Harper's Bazaar as well as many international publications.
In 2008 Albertus was a runner-up in the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund award and in 2009 was nominated for a Swarovski CFDA Accessory Award.
In 2010 he received an AFI Award in South Africa for top Accessory Designer and was nominated for a WGSN Award.
Two of his hats were in the Hats, an Anthology exhibition in the V&A Museum in London, curated by Stephen Jones.
In 2014 he received a South African Style Award and a Laureate Alumni Award from the University of Pretoria, where he studied Fine Arts.
Albertus has done collaborations with Target, J Crew, Club Monaco, The Gap, Stetson and Bench in the Philippines.