- After everyone came to love Raf Simons in Dior and I, he left the company citing intense pressure and a difficult lifestyle. Shortly afterward, Alber Elbaz left Lanvin and Alexander Wang left Balenciaga.
- Rick Owen’s “human backpack” show grabbed headlines for harnessed gymnasts being the prominent accessory in the show
- Givenchy showed at New York Fashion Week for the first time with a 9/11 tribute show in TriBeCa
- Second-tier “diffusion” lines like Emporio Armani, D&G and Marc by Marc Jacobs have hit hard times as many designers opt to do short term collections for more accessible companies like H&M and Target. Some brands had to make major changes to their diffusion lines: Prada Group chose to reposition Miu Miu as a sister label to signature line Prada instead of as a secondary line. Others have shut them down entirely notably Kors by Michael Kors and Burberry Sport.
- American Apparel declared bankruptcy amid tumultuous legal battles with former CEO Dov Charney who was accused of sexual harassment. Despite difficult financial times, American Apparel is steadfast with its mission to manufacture apparel in the United States. Other retailers in their category such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Aeropostale have hit hard times as well. In the past year Wet Seal, Deb Shops, Delia’s and Body Central have all gone under.
- Yoox became world’s largest luxury e-commerce platform — the result of a major merger between luxury online retailers Yoox and Net-a-Porter.
- Major strides in the fashion consignment tech space with apps like ThredUp, The RealReal, and Poshmark
- New apps for changing the modeling industry from scouting (Feels) to skipping the agency part altogether (Swipecast)
- New wearables hit the scene like the Apple Watch, Tag Heuer Connected, and the Fitbit Blaze (cheating: the Blaze actually came out the first week of 2016 but I’m counting it anyway)
- Our favorite fitness tracker Fitbit went public (NYSE: FIT)
Sustainability and Ethics
- Hermès came under fire after PETA exposed the horrific conditions maintained by some of their crocodile- and alligator-skin suppliers for their high-end accessories, including Birkin and Kelly bags (which cost up to $50,000+).
- Jane Birkin herself mandated that Hermès change their ways or she won’t allow them to use her name on the iconic bag.
- Thousands of garment factory workers across Cambodia have fainted on the job raising more health concerns about factory labor in the country. Most of this has been attributed to high levels of anemia and food insecurity in the employees.
Film and Literature
Disclaimer: some of these were actually produced in 2014 but didn’t reach the United States until 2015. Descriptions come from IMDB and Amazon. I highly recommend everything on this list.
Dior and I (director Frédéric Tcheng):
Dior and I brings the viewer inside the storied world of the Christian Dior fashion house with a privileged, behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Raf Simons' first haute couture collection as its new artistic director-a true labor of love created by a dedicated group of collaborators. Melding the everyday, pressure-filled components of fashion with mysterious echoes from the iconic brand's past, the film is also a colorful homage to the seamstresses who serve Simons' vision.
Iris (director Albert Maysles)
A documentary about fashion icon Iris Apfel from legendary documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles.
The True Cost (director Andrew Morgan)
This is a story about clothing. It's about the clothes we wear, the people who make them and the impact it's having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking new documentary film that pulls back the curtain on an unseen part of our world and asks us each to consider, who pays the price for our clothing?
Saint Laurent (director Bertrand Bonello)
In her groundbreaking work Gods and Kings, acclaimed journalist Dana Thomas tells the true story of McQueen and Galliano. In so doing, she reveals the revolution in high fashion in the last two decades—and the price it demanded of the very ones who saved it.
I'll Drink to That: A Life in Style, with a Twist (author Betty Halbreich)
Eighty-six-year-old Betty Halbreich is a true original who could have stepped straight out of Stephen Sondheim’s repertoire. She has spent nearly forty years as the legendary personal shopper at Bergdorf Goodman, where she works with socialites, stars, and ordinary women off the street. She has helped many find their true selves through fashion, frank advice, and her own brand of wisdom. She is trusted by the most discriminating persons—including Hollywood’s top stylists—to tell them what looks best. But Halbreich’s personal transformation from cosseted young girl to fearless truth teller is the greatest makeover of her career.
Love Style Life (author Garance Doré)
Garance Doré, the voice and vision behind her eponymous blog, has captivated millions of readers worldwide with her fresh and appealing approach to style through storytelling. This gorgeously illustrated book takes readers on a unique narrative journey that blends Garance’s inimitable photography and illustrations with the candid, hard-won wisdom drawn from her life and her travels. Infused with her Left Bank sensibility, the eclecticism of her adopted city of New York, and the wild, passionate spirit of her native Corsica, Love Style Life is a backstage pass behind fashion’s frontlines, peppered with French-girl-next-door wit and advice on everything from mixing J.Crew with Chanel, to falling in love, to pursuing a life and career that is the perfect reflection of you.
Looking forward to 2016! Like what you read? Subscribe so you never miss a post.