The year in fashion — controversies, acquisitions and new creative directions

The year in fashion — controversies, acquisitions and new creative directions
A model in a leotard-style ensemble and black tights leads a line of other models on a path through the arena.
Models walk the runway for Chanel’s Cruise 2022/23 collection in Miami in November, one of many shows to take place in 2022 © BOBY

After two years dominated by the pandemic, in 2022 the fashion and luxury industry faced new global challenges, including the war in Ukraine, the highest inflation rates in decades in the US, UK and Europe. , and a slowing economy in China. But 2022 was also a year of momentous change within the industry, with a new wave of creative directors and brand CEOs; controversies, via Kanye West and Balenciaga; and big announcements, like the acquisition of Tom Ford.

Goodbye to André leon tally

André Leon Talley sits smiling in a high-backed chair.  He wears a black jacket with chalk stripes and black pants with a wide red stripe.

André Leon Talley in New York, 1998 © Getty Images

Issey Miyake stands smiling with models clapping around him

Designer Issey Miyake with models during Paris Fashion Week 1993 © Getty Images

On January 18, the famous fashion editor and journalist André Leon Talley passed away at the age of 73. An unmistakable figure who often donned a flowing cape and Manolo Blahnik boots, Talley worked for titles including Interview magazine, Women’s Wear Daily and US Vogue, where he became the first and only black creative director from 1988 to 1995. Born Born in 1948 in Washington DC and raised by his grandmother in Durham, North Carolina, Talley is credited with paving the way for other black creatives in the industry. Fashion lost other major figures in 2022, including designers Thierry Mugler, Nino Cerruti, Issey Miyake, Hanae Mori, and Peter Hidalgo.

The brands stopped their operations in Russia

Eight days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Hermès announced its decision to temporarily close stores in Russia and pause all business activities in the country, initiating a series of similar movements brands such as Chanel, Burberry and Prada, as well as conglomerates Richemont, LVMH and Kering. Luxury brands were followed by publishers, such as publisher Elle Hearst, which cut ties with its Russian media partners in early March, and publisher Vogue Condé Nast, which terminated its franchise agreement with Condé Nast Russia in April.

Destination programs are back with a bang

Two models wear extravagant gold and silver outfits.

In July, Dolce & Gabbana hosted a four-day extravaganza for its Alta Moda collection in Sicily. . .

A model walks down a runway in a sheer white thigh-length dress and a black and gold cardigan.

. . . while Chanel flew to Dakar, Senegal, for her Métiers d’Art show in December

In the early days of the pandemic, travel restrictions halted extravagant destination shows by luxury brands, with some in the industry predicting a fashion calendar overhaul in favor of a more sustainable approach. However, in 2022, Destination shows are back in full force as luxury brands invested in ways to strengthen their ties with local customers. Some of the biggest shows included Dolce & Gabbana’s four-day Alta Moda extravaganza in Sicily and Chanel’s three-day Métiers d’Art event in Dakar, Senegal.

Patagonia gave it all away

In September, the founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, and his family transferred full ownership of the company, estimated at $3 billion, to the Patagonia Purpose Trust and the non-profit organization Holdfast Collective. The trust, which owns all of the company’s voting shares, will ensure that Patagonia meets its long-term social and environmental commitments, while the nonprofit organization, which owns all of the non-voting shares, will receive a dividend each year of approximately $100 million to combat the climate crisis. Since he founded Patagonia in 1973, American businessman Chouinard has made environmentalism a key focus of his business.

the kanye west saga

Kanye West smiles.  He wears a black leather outfit over a black hooded top.

After a controversial show and anti-Semitic comments, Kanye West was dropped by Adidas and Balenciaga. . . © GC Images

Demna Gvasalia is standing with his hands in his pockets.  He is dressed in a black suit and a black cap.

. . . but the brand and its creative director Demna Gvasalia found themselves embroiled in a controversy of their own in November © Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

In January, Kanye West and Balenciaga Creative Director Demna Gvasalia announced their Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga collaboration. By the end of the year, the parties involved were no longer working together. The problems began in the summer, when West took to social media to complain about creative and management conflicts with Gap. A few weeks later, he terminated his 10-year contract with the US retailer, citing Gap’s “substantial breach.” Then, in October, a surprise show in Paris fashion week for the Yeezy Season 9 launch turned controversial when West appeared in a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt to deliver a long-winded monologue that included a statement of rivalry against LVMH Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault. Following the show and a series of offensive and anti-Semitic comments by the artist, Balenciaga ended his association with the designer. West, who has continued to use anti-Semitic rhetoric, was also dropped by Adidas, Foot Locker and talent agent CAA.

Tom Ford cashed

Tom Ford is standing at the bottom of a flight of stairs, with photographers behind him taking a picture of him.  He wears a suit with a bow tie and sunglasses.

Estée Lauder’s acquisition of Tom Ford has fueled speculation about the American designer’s departure from fashion © WireImage

Alessandro Michele, who has long dark hair and a beard, walks on a red carpet with photographers behind him.

Creative director Alessandro Michele resigned from Gucci in November © Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

On November 15, Estée Lauder announced that it would buy Tom Ford in a transaction that valued the brand at $2.8 billion, the biggest deal to date for the beauty conglomerate. Estée Lauder will operate Tom Ford Beauty, which has been under license with the beauty conglomerate since 2006, while signing a 20-year licensing agreement with Italian luxury group Zegna for the brand’s women’s and men’s underwear and accessories. , and extended the Tom Ford eyeglass license with the Italian eyeglass company Marcolin. The acquisition fueled speculation about Tom Ford’s possible exit from fashion. The American designer is expected to stay with the brand until the end of 2023, but it’s unclear what will happen after that. “He is no longer interested in fashion.”, a source familiar with the negotiations told the FT’s fashion editor, Lauren Indvik.

Balenciaga’s big mistake

In mid-November, Balenciaga authored another of the most controversial moments of the year when he launched two ad campaigns (now retired) that appeared to glorify child abuse. The first, called the “Gift Shop,” featured children holding teddy bear-like bags in bondage clothing, while the second, called the “Garde-Robe,” included Supreme Court documents related to child pornography laws. in the background. As outrage mounted, the company took to social media to apologize but also launched a $25m (£21m) lawsuit against the production company behind one of the campaigns, a move seen as a way to divert the blame. With no end in sight to the backlash, two weeks after the “Gift Shop” campaign unveiled, Balenciaga’s creative director Demna shared a personal apology on Instagram, followed by a note from Chairman and CEO Cédric Charbit announcing that the brand was ‘t pursuing litigation.

Everything changes in the best brands

A model wears a dark blue evening gown split to the waist on one side.

A look from Rhuigi Villaseñor’s debut collection for Bally Spring/Summer 23 © Alberto Maddaloni

A model wears a gray sweater and a yellow ankle-length skirt.

Matthieu Blazy’s debut for Bottega Veneta Fall/Winter 22 © Alessandro Lucioni

Bottega Veneta, Bally, Missoni, Salvatore Ferragamo, Etro and Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh received a new creative direction this year, with Bottega Veneta’s Matthieu Blazy causing the biggest splash with his February debut. Blazy, who succeeded Daniel Lee at the helm of the Kering-owned brand in November 2021, won acclaim for his interpretation of the house’s rooted craftsmanship and elegance. Meanwhile, Lee was appointed creative director of British brand Burberry in October following the departure of Riccardo Tisci, and he is expected to bring new life to the label, which has been under new chief executive Jonathan Akeroyd since April. Big changes are also coming at Gucci, where creative director Alessandro Michele resigned in November.

Prada and LVMH named new CEOs

In December, Prada tapped former Luxottica executive Andrea Guerra to succeed co-CEOs (and husband and wife) Patrizio Bertelli and Miuccia Prada and pave the way for his son Lorenzo Bertelli, currently head of corporate social responsibility, to take over as chief executive officer. leader of the group in the coming years. At LVMH, Antoine Arnault, son of Chairman Bernard Arnault and head of communication and image at LVMH, was appointed CEO of the Christian Dior SE holding, replacing Sidney Toledano. The appointment elevates Antoine’s position in the French luxury multinational’s power structure (Christian Dior SE owns 41 percent of LVMH, or 56 percent of its voting rights), but succession plans at the conglomerate world’s largest luxury remain a secret. Bernard Arnault, 73, has never publicly named a successor.

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