Already dubbed as the year of major fashion shake-ups, 2016 is probably the one that irreversibly changed the fashion industry most (and it is not even over yet, so let’s hope we are done for now!). While most of the shake-ups ended up in new, exciting ventures for both fashion houses and designers, others kept us worried about the future of most of our favorite creative directors.
2016 was, however, also the year of major revisits and emerging personalities, with new formulas, fashion capitals and models effortlessly making their way into the industry.
Before jumping into next year, let’s make a quick recap of these past 12 (fashion) months, discussing the major fashion events of 2016!
Year of 2016 in Fashion: Fashion Designer Departures
It happened almost every other month: whenever a new fashion season was getting closer, a creative director would part ways from his fashion house. It all began with Hedi Slimane, who left Saint Laurent after three years at the French mansion.
Soon followed Brendan Mullan and Stefano Pilati, who left Brioni and Ermenegildo Zegna accordingly, and then Justin O’Shea, who stepped down from his position as Brioni’s new creative director after six months.
Peter Dundas also parted ways from Roberto Cavalli, with the Italian fashion house undergoing major financial shake-ups as well. Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow left DKNY, Massimiliano Giornetti left Salvatore Ferragamo, Bobbi Brown waved goodbye to her eponymous label, and Peter Copping stepped down from his position at Oscar de la Renta, which is under financial and legal turmoil, too.
Two of the biggest shake-ups revolved, however, around Dior and Valentino, which parted ways from Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri accordingly. While Simons landed at Calvin Klein, Chiuri is now one of Dior’s biggest additions ever.
Year of 2016 in Fashion: Biggest Runway Debuts and Historic Moments
Speaking of debuts and additions, 2016 was pretty exciting, too. Aside from Maria Grazia Chiuri, who revolutionized Dior through her feminist lens, former colleague Pierpaolo Piccioli made a jaw-dropping solo debut at Valentino, too, with his 64-piece spring 2017 collection destined to become one of Valentino’s most iconic runway shows ever.
Anthony Vaccarello debuted his Saint Laurent collection at Paris Fashion Week, delivering ’80s overdose, while Bouchra Jarrar shook the runway with her debut Lanvin collection. We also witnessed Johnny Coca’s first Mulberry show, Demna Gvasalia’s Balenciaga collection, Fulvio Rigoni’s debut Salvatore Ferragamo show and the first designs by Jonathan Saunders for Diane von Furstenberg.
2016 was also synonymous with emerging talents, with labels such as Under Armour debuting at NYFW for the first time. Other designers who showed their collections for the first time include Heron Preston, God Save Queens (one of Kylie Jenner’s favorites, among others), and Club Monaco. We bet we will hear more from them in the years to come!
As for one of the year’s most important historic moments, it has to deal with visionary designer and artist Karl Lagerfeld, who took his Chanel cruise 2017 collection to Cuba, marking one of the island and its society’s biggest events of all time.
Year of 2016 in Fashion: a Recap of the Acclaimed See-Now-Buy-Now Formula
Love it or hate it, the see-now-buy-now formula is one of this year’s most acclaimed events. Highly appreciated by most of the industry’s designers, as well as highly remunerative (especially when it comes to Tommy Hilfiger), the see-now-buy-now formula has got us covered, so far, with the seasonal collections of Tom Ford, Ralph Lauren, Thakoon, Burberry, and Rebecca Minkoff.
As of now, most of the labels from Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks appear to be reluctant about embracing this formula, but we bet things will change in 2017.
Year of 2016 in Fashion: Major Fashion Trends
When speaking about the major fashion trends of 2016, we could sum up the entire fashion world with just one world: street style. From baggy clothes to bombers (especially Gucci’s!), from Nineties-inspired denim to sneakers (whether it is a pair of Yeezy or Fenty x Puma sneakers), street style was the key element at every single fashion event, with creativity and personal tastes being at the core of any outfit.
Year of 2016 in Fashion: Models and Brand Ambassadors of the Year
Although not embraced by all the fashion designers during their runway shows at the seasonal fashion weeks, diversity also was a key element during this long year. Many beauty and fashion labels embraced diversity in all its glory, always looking for unique brand ambassadors that could celebrate all the different aspects of humankind.
From transgender Lea T., who recently appeared in Givenchy’s spring 2017 ad campaign, to iconic Jaden Smith’s womenswear ad campaign for Louis Vuitton, which embraces gender non-conformity to its fullest, diversity and multiculturalism were at the core of most of this year’s fashion moments, and we honestly couldn’t be happier about it.
As for the models of the year, 2016 was equally thrilling. From Bella Hadid, who was recently awarded as the Model of the Year 2016 by models.com, to Kendall Jenner who walked the runway as one of Victoria’s Secret models, throughout these 12 months the models that made a remarkable impact in the industry were numerous.
Let’s take, for instance, Hailey Baldwin, who added ‘designer’ to her resume thanks to a footwear collaboration with Public Desire, or former Versace habitué Inga Savits, who now has a successful shoe line, or even Bella Hadid herself, who is soon unveiling her collaboration with Chrome Hearts: being a model seems to be just the beginning of a long, shining career in the industry!
Year of 2016 in Fashion: In Memoriam
Shake-ups aside, 2016 will be also remembered as one of the industry’s saddest years. Within the span of a few months, visionary designer Sonia Rykiel, fashion photographer Bill Cunningham and Vogue Italy’s editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani all died, leaving an unbridgeable gap that cannot be filled.
Photos courtesy of Instagram