A Year in Fashion: 2017’s Biggest Stories

A Year in Fashion: 2017’s Biggest Stories

2017 has undoubtedly been a big year for the fashion industry and there has been plenty to talk about. From the surprise departure of Christopher Bailey at Burberry to the death of Azzedine Alaïa, the year has seen some of the more shocking things to have happened in the industry in recent years. Suprise collaborations between the likes of Louis Vuitton and Supreme were also shocks. Here we round up the biggest stories that have rocked the industry in 2017. 

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2017 was a big year for the fashion industry and there were a few shocks to be had. There were deaths, collaborations and departures from posts you never thought you'd see, and there was plenty to keep the fashion lot talking. We've rounded up the biggest talking points and the things that we think were notable for the year, from collaborations between Louis Vuitton and Supreme to the departure of Christopher Bailey at Burberry.

Azzedine Alaïa's Death

On the 18th November, the fashion industry was rocked by the death of legendary designer Azzedine Alaïa. The Tunisian-born designer had been a figurehead in the industry for many years and passed away at the age of 82 in Paris. He was famed for his clothing, notably his dresses, and he was dubbed the 'king of cling' due to the way his clothes wrapped around a woman's body.

It was confirmed that he had suffered a heart attack. Edward Enninful, the recently appointed editor-in-chief of British Vogue, said of the death, "Azzedine Alaïa was a true visionary, and a remarkable man. He will be deeply missed by all of those who knew and loved him, as well as by the women around the world who wore his clothes".

azzadine alaia kim kardashian
Azzedine Alaia with Kim Kardashian and Kourtney Kardashian

Alaïa was born in Tunis in 1940 (although this date is unconfirmed as he frequently lied about his age) and has had a very illustrative career. He initially started at the Institut Supérieur des Beaux Arts in Tunis to study sculpture, but soon realised that his ambitions to be the best were above him and so he moved towards the fashion industry. In 1957 he moved to Paris and after building up a client base of his own, he began assisting Christian Dior. However this was ended after five days as his immigration papers were incorrect.

From Dior he went on to Guy Laroche, Thierry Mugler and eventually he started his own atelier. In the Seventies he became a hit with Hollywood stars, including Greta Garbo, and in the early 1980s he put out his first ready-to-wear collection for women, which was met with critical acclaim. Over the years he did his own thing and in 1992 he completely dismissed the seasonal timeframe of the fashion industry. He said "When the collection is ready, it’s ready. Unless I have a length of fabric in my hand and a girl in front of me, I really can't come up with a lot of ideas."

azzedine alaia 2017 death
Azzedine Alaia

Christopher Bailey resigns from Burberry

One of the big shocks of the year was Christopher Bailey's decision to depart from British fashion house Burberry. After 16 years of working for the brand he decided that it was time to depart and move down other creative paths. He will see out his position as president and chief creative officer until March 31, 2018, when he will step down from the board. He will provide his full support to chief executive officer Marco Gobbetti and the team on the transition until Dec. 31, 2018."

christopher bailey
Christopher Bailey

It has been rumoured for some time that Christopher Bailey was to leave Burberry, especially after he handed over the CEO role to Gobbetti. It came as a shock that he was completely leaving the company as he had been a key player in transforming the company's image and fortunes since 2001. He is praised with turning the brand around, stripping it of its 'chav' image and giving it a new lease of life. Thanks to him, campaigns have been stronger than ever, with the brand working alongside the likes of Cara Delevingne, Naomi Campbell, Brooklyn Beckham, Eddie Redmayne and Rosie Huntington Whiteley.

cara delevingne burberry
Cara Delevingne

On the decision to leave, Bailey has said "it has been the great privilege of my life to be at Burberry, working alongside and learning from such an extraordinary group of people over the last 17 years. Burberry encapsulates so much of what is great about Britain. As an organization, it is creative, innovative and outward-looking." He continued "I do truly believe, however, that Burberry’s best days are still ahead of her, and that the company will go from strength to strength with the strategy we have developed and the exceptional talent we have in place led by Marco. I am excited to pursue new creative projects, but remain fully committed to the future success of this magnificent brand and to ensuring a smooth transition."

There is still speculation about who will take over the creative director position, but the key player seems to be Phoebe Philo of Céline.

Supreme x Louis Vuitton

2017 was the year we saw one of the biggest collaborations ever between two brands. Supreme and Louis Vuitton hooked up after rumours were flying about and Kim Jones finally confirmed the collaboration.

Kim Jones and the Supreme team presented the collaboration in January 2017 and it immediately became the talking point of Paris fashion week. It was sold across the world at pop-up stores in June of the same year. With Louis Vuitton, Kim Jones has introduced street wear to high end, using brands like Umbro and Fragment Pieces to do so. Supreme was his biggest player yet. When asked about the collaboration, he said "You can't have the conversation of New York men's wear without Supreme right now, because it's such a massive global phenomenon. I just feel that the strength of their graphic versus the strength of the Louis Vuitton graphic, and that kind of Pop Art feeling -- it works together perfectly."

Louis Vuitton x Supreme

Supreme x Louis Vuitton has been hailed as one of the greatest collaborations ever, but prices were not kind to those fans who wanted to get a slice of the action. Kim Jones decided that prices would fall under the Louis Vuitton price point, rather than Supreme's and so things were not cheap.

Versace honours Gianni Versace

To mark the 20th anniversary of Gianni Versace's death, Donatella pulled out all the stops. For her catwalk show in September 2017, the Versace creative director got the old gang back together and her catwalk show saw the original supermodels team up. Walking down the catwalk at the end of the unveiling of Versace's collection which was in tribute to Gianni Versace, Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Helena Christensen, Naomi Campbell and Carla Bruni were the picture of Nineties glory.

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Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Helena Christensen, Naomi Campbell and Carla Bruni for Versace

Kaia Gerber dominated fashion week

Kaia Gerber, the daughter of supermodel Cindy Crawford, made her catwalk debut in 2017, walking first for Calvin Klein. At 16 years old she is one of the youngest models on the circuit, but the Spring/Summer 2018 shows proved that she was the most buzzed about. She basically walked for every designer, from Valentino and Fendi to Chanel and Alexander Wang.

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Kaia Gerber walking for Calvin Klein, making her debut

Edward Enninful takes over British Vogue

In August, Ghanian-born Edward Enninful became the first black male Editor-In-Chief of British Vogue. He became the 11th editor of the fashion magazine, taking over from Alexander Schulman who had been at the helm of the magazine for 25 years and stood as the longest serving editor of Vogue. Prior to joining British Vogue, Enninful had been creative and fashion director of US magazine W since 2011.

When Edward Enninful was just 19 years old, he became the youngest fashion editor in the game when he took on the role at ID magazine. For his first issue of British Vogue, he had model of the moment Adwoa Aboah on the cover and completely changed the way the magazine worked. It was a celebration of all things Britain and he worked with the likes of Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne, John Galliano, Victoria Beckham and Skepta. Prior to his first issue coming out, he had completely overhauled the Vogue office, firing all those he thought were elitist and the "Sloaney sloths", making it a more diverse place.

vogue adwoa aboah cover december 2017-min
British Vogue, December 2017

The revival of the dad trainer took place

2017 was the year that unlikely happened and the so-called "dad trainer" became one of the most popular shapes in the game. The likes of Gucci, Prada, Balenciaga, Raf Simons and Acne Studios have all got involved and it has seemingly become a game of who can create the ugliest and biggest trainer silhouette. Even Kanye West took a step away from his Yeezy Boosts and began to show off a new range of Yeezy Wave Runners which look more appropriate on the foot of a 40-year old father of two. Yet this is 2017 and the chunky trainer is the shoe that everyone wants and wore. We reckon next year will see more of the same.

balenciaga triple s dad shoe
Balenciaga Triple S

Balenciaga took on Ikea

2017 was the year that Balenciaga essentially ripped of Ikea's shopping bag - you know those blue ones you get to carry your purchases in when you're walking round one of the giant stores. The Internet went into a meltdown when the fashion house, head up by Demna Gvsalia of Vetements, started to sell near-identical bags to those at Ikea for a price of £1600.

Ikea was quick to respond and they even went as far as putting out an ad to highlight the fact that Balenciaga has essentially copied their design. The ad basically highlighted how to differentiate the £1600 Balenciaga design from one of Ikea's 40p carrier bags, highlighting the durability of the Ikea "original".

ikea balenciaga bag advert 2017-min
Ikea's advert in response to Balenciaga
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest 

Nike x Off-White

Louis Vuitton and Supreme weren't the only big brands collaborated in 2017 and Virgil Abloh's Off White teamed up with the Nike team on a collection of ten trainers. The collab saw the creation and release of ten special editions of previous trainers, from rehashed Air Jordan 1s and Blazers to Air Max 90s and Prestos. The collab was spotted being worn by everyone from Kendall Jenner and Naomi Campbell to Justin Bieber and was undoubtedly (sitting just behind Louis Vuitton and Supreme's hook up) one of the biggest of the year.

off white air jordan 1
PHOTO CREDIT: Modern Notoriety

On That Note

2017 proved to be a big year for fashion, with the death of Azzedine Alaïa seeing everyone come together to mourn the untimely passing of a true fashion icon. Edward Enninful became the first male Editor-In-Chief of British Vogue, replacing Alexandra Schulman and beginning a new era for the fashion bible. Collaborations were aplenty and two that really stood out were those between Supreme and Louis Vuitton and Nike and Virgil Abloh's Off-White. It has been a mixed year though, with Ikea coming to heads with Balenciaga and let's not forget those moments that made us quite literally question the fashion industry (those Vetements bum zip jeans, anyone?)


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