It is not only trends that are ever-changing. The appointment of designers – and correspondingly, the vision they offer – often lead to a switch of a fashion house’s aesthetic.
Taking the helm, they bring with them a personal perspective. It is also this new vibe that courts additional followers and offers a fresh identity to fashion labels.
Here’s a look at four well-known designers who made headlines for moving “houses” this year.
As a designer, Kim Jones has had the experience of working with some of the most well-known fashion labels. These include the likes of Dunhill, Mulberry, Alexander McQueen and more.
But it is his appointment as artistic director of Dior Homme this year that took everyone by surprise. Partly because the man he replaced never gave any indication of wanting to move on.
Also, Jones, 38, was previously rumoured to have been courted by Versace. Many in the fashion industry saw him as a potential successor to Christopher Bailey at Burberry as well.
A graduate of Central Saint Martins in London, he is known for having a sporty, streetwise aesthetic. His love for the edgy and the cool falls in place perfectly with today’s youth-driven trends.
British-born Jones’ first runway show for Dior Homme last month was a hit. His designs have been praised for being a clever mix of high-end fashion with casually chic streetwear styles.
One thing to note about Virgil Abloh is that he does not play by the rules. The American designer prides himself for his self-taught background in fashion and is not afraid of being an outsider in the industry.
Yet, the 37-year-old secured the plum job of replacing Kim Jones as Louis Vuitton’s artistic director of menswear. He has taken to the ground running too, with a star-studded debut runway for the label.
Last month’s show drew celebrities like Rihanna, Naomi Campbell, Rita Ora, Jordyn Woods, Chadwick Boseman and Alexander Skarsgard. His designs paid tribute to the “streets” with sneakers being a mainstay.
Abloh first came to prominence as rapper Kanye West’s creative director. From there on, he has made a name for himself by founding his own luxury streetwear label Off-White.
Described by Vogue magazine as “one of fashion’s consummate purveyors of cool and hype”, Abloh has said that he aims to modernise fashion – and the storied houses that are seen as bastions of the industry.
Having replaced Christopher Bailey as the new creative officer, Riccardo Tisci is expected to bring his vision of subversive and contemporary elegance to British fashion house Burberry.
The 43-year old Italian designer is long celebrated for being a visionary. His creations are regarded as extremely relevant, which is a quality much sought after in the fast changing fashion world.
Tisci’s appointment at Burberry comes after more than a decade as creative director at Givenchy, where he resurrected the couture house with his expertise of elevating casual wear to high-fashion status.
Some of his past iconic designs for Givenchy include Beyonce’s very naked dress worn at the 2015 Met Gala, as well as Kim Kardashian’s sophisticated wedding gown in 2014.
While his first Burberry show is only slated for September, anticipation is steadily growing. The recent announcement of a Burberry partnership between Riccardo Tisci with British designer Vivienne Westwood has already set the fashion world abuzz.
Hedi Slimane’s matchup with Celine is as unconventional as it gets. The French designer’s aesthetic contrasts greatly with what the fashion house has adhered to in the past.
While Slimane, 50, has a penchant for shrunken tops and skinny pants, plus elements of rock ‘n’ roll and grunge, Celine is known for its sophisticated and chic wardrobe essentials.
Yet Slimane was successful at reinventing Yves Saint Laurent. As the creative director between 2012 and 2016, he rechristened it Saint Laurent and pushed forward a more culture-driven vibe for the label.
Big things are expected from Slimane come his debut show in September. It will be interesting to see what changes he makes under his helm and the new direction he will be taking the brand to.
As for fans of Slimane? It has been reported that he will be introducing a ready-to-wear men’s collection for the first time in the label’s history. Now, that’s something to get excited about.