The 13 fashion stories that defined 2021

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It’s time for a stroll in the past! Here are the moments that shocked, saddened, thrilled and excited us in 2021:

Jill Biden and Kamala Harris spotlight young designers on opening day

With all eyes on the new administration, First Lady Jill Biden and historic Vice President Kamala Harris have both chosen to shine the global spotlight on next-generation American designers. The First Lady wore a teal embroidered coat and gown by New York-based Markarian, led by Ali O’Neill. Ahead of the opening day, Vice President Harris chose a custom camel coat by Louisiana-born Christopher John Rogers, followed by a purple two-piece coat and dress by Sergio Hudson, both from black designers. Well done !

Kim Jones calls on Demi Moore et al for her Fendi debut

As he took the reins of Fendi, occupying the permanent position left vacant since Karl Lagerfeld’s death, Kim Jones was tasked not only with putting his mark on the historic house, but also proving to the industry that he could. handle women’s clothing with the same mastery as it does men’s clothing. Her first outlet for the house was the Haute Couture Spring-Summer 21; an offering inspired by the Bloomsbury ensemble with oiled metallic dresses and marbled silks, mosaic fur, sheer cascading capes and a starry cast to boot.

Alber Elbaz dies, industry mourns icon

On April 24, Alber Elbaz’s sudden death following complications from COVID sent shockwaves around the world. The beloved Israeli designer of Moroccan descent, who held creative director positions at Yves Saint Laurent and Lanvin before starting to launch AZ Factory, was just 59 years old. Several months later, AZ Factory organized a touching tribute to Elbaz to close Paris Fashion Week, with the participation of the world’s biggest fashion brands to pay tribute to him.

Gucci and Balenciaga “hack”

Celebrating the house’s centenary, Gucci’s Alessandro Michele marked this defining moment with a megalithic reunion of brands during his debut in the Aria collection. Before realizing that 2021 would truly be the year of fashion collaborations, Gucci and Balenciaga participated in what they called a “hacking lab” – subverting and swapping brand codes most immediately. recognizable. Read the review of the Aria show here.

Halston hits the screens

For a minute in May, the fashion world was once again transported to the heyday of Studio 54, as Ryan Murphy set his lens on the late iconic American designer, Roy Halston. In the limited series for Netflix, viewers got a breathtaking view of the struggling talent and her relationship with muses Elsa Peretti (who sadly passed away in March), Liza Minnelli and her rowdy on-again / off-new boyfriend. Victor Hugo. It’s no coincidence that disco-ready pieces and ’70s beauty trends started to be in fashion after the show ended, in time with the world gradually returning to normal as vaccines became readily available.

Kerby Jean-Raymond de Pyer Moss is the first black designer invited to show a couture collection

It might have taken two attempts, as an unimaginable downpour made the first outing impossible, but Haitian-born American Kerby Jean-Raymond finally had the sun on a Saturday in July in the grounds of the historic Villa. Lewaro in Irvington to present their inaugural couture collection. Jean-Raymond is the first black American designer to be officially invited to show Haute Couture by the Parisian organization, Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode. The show was kicked off with a rousing speech by Elaine Brown, the Black Panthers’ only female frontman, as a crowd of editors and those who won tickets online gathered to witness the inspired collection of creations of black inventors. Read the full review here.

Victoria’s Secret turns its back on the past with a new brand image

In June, the artist formerly known as Victoria’s Secret became what is now known as VS Collective. The brand would no longer endorse the models as ‘angels’ – instead, a diverse group of thought leaders, entertainment figures, advocates and activists would serve as spokespersons and stars of the campaign. . To cement its new identity, the VS Collective podcast was introduced, hosted by Amanda De Cadenet, featuring a member with a set mission in each episode. The change was enough to get Bella Hadid to return to the fold, and model Hailey Bieber also jumped on board.

NYFW is back!

As September rolled around, the inimitable buzz of NYFW finally returned after two predominantly virtual seasons. The excitement was heightened by figures including Thom Browne, Rodarte, Tom Ford and Peter Dundas showcasing their products in the Big Apple. The event also coincided with the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, giving designers the welcome opportunity to showcase their odes and love letters to New York City’s resilience. Our other great takeaways? TikTok stars have made their way to the front row and diversity and inclusiveness is at an all time high on the New York catwalks. In fact, a report found that plus size representation at NYFW increased by 366%. We love to see it!

Christian Siriano SS ’22 (Getty)

Chloé becomes the first major luxury brand to receive B Corp certification

Under Gabriela Hearst, Chloe began her journey towards a goal-driven model in June 2020, and in October 2021 she was recognized with a B Corp certification, making her the first luxury brand to achieve this status. Thanks to Hearst, the house has set up a sustainability board, developed a transparent roadmap to sustainability, switched to low impact materials, strengthened partnerships with Fair Trade certified social enterprises and launched a program volunteering, among other initiatives. Aware and elegant!

Chloé SS ’22 (Courtesy)

Skims x Fendi

Gone are the days when the only fashion collaboration on everyone’s tip of the tongue were classic H&M x designer capsules! This year it seemed like everyone from Crocs to Tiffany’s were indulging in the collaboration game, but no rumor has broken the internet as much as Skims x Fendi. In the wake of Fendi and Versace’s “design off” release during Milan Fashion Week, Kim Jones and Kim Kardashian West have joined forces to create a capsule of co-branded underwear, underwear and clothing. body-conscious silhouettes sold at low prices. $ 4000 options of leather dresses. It was reported that the launch made $ 1 million in sales in the first minute alone. Who knows what the collaborations will bring in 2022, but our prediction is: a lot of them!

Gucci Love Parade

It was a case of “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood …” as Alessando Michele closed Hollywood Boulevard for utter extravaganza. Showcasing his film-themed Love Parade collection, the designer not only welcomed a star audience (including Gwyneth Paltrow in the updated version of her infamous red velvet tuxedo designed by Tom Ford), but also the catwalk. . Among those who stormed the streets were Jared Leto, Jodie Turner Smith and, uh, Macaulay Culkin! Read the full review here.

Gucci Love Parade (Courtesy)

Daniel Lee leaves Bottega Veneta

Just weeks after taking Bottega Veneta to Detroit for Salon 03, Daniel Lee left the brand. His successor, Matthieu Blazy, will present his first collection in Milan during the next show program. In the meantime, here are some CliffsNotes on the incoming designer: a graduate of La Cambre in Brussels, he is a former Balenciga from the Ghesquière era, Margiela from the Galliano era and Dior from the Simons era. Oh, and her life partner is Pieter Mulier d’Alaia. Watch this place!

Matthieu Blazy (Willy Vanderperre)

Virgil Abloh loses battle with cancer at 41

The news of Virgil Abloh’s untimely death on November 28 certainly made headlines throughout the year. The Louis Vuitton menswear designer and founder of Off-White had chosen to keep his battle with cancer private. The pioneering and revolutionary talent – the first African-American man to be appointed artistic director of a French luxury house – is fondly remembered for putting streetwear and zeitgeisty collaborations on the map, as well as his innate ability to reflect pop culture moments in his genre-defining work. A week after his death, his latest collection of men’s clothing for Louis Vuitton was presented in Miami during Art Basel. In the final, the sky lit up with the moving words, Virgil Was Here. TEAR.

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