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Article: 2022: A YEAR OF CHANGE


The return to full ‘’normalcy’’ and in person events has been coexisting all year round with other less enticing headlines, and a constant tension between enhanced joie de vivre and the reality of a world with systems bound to change. Although sustainability was the word in everyone’s mouth this year, which is still far from where it ought to be for our survival, there was a significant feeling of change in the global fashion sphere. From switching creative directors to the rise of new lines of succession, we take a look at some of the most relevant changes this year in our industry.

The activation of web3 and digital fashion has been some of this year's biggest news. Still a long way to go, the popularity of the Metaverse and online games such as Roblox has made for fashion companies to purchase actual token land in these spaces, as well as the appearance of sales points for digital clothes.

The first few digital fashion shows also appeared, and the rise of NFTs gave way for luxury giants like Prada to begin selling NFTs of their own, and they are just one name of the many new proponents of luxury digital fashion. All of these advancements of digital technology and life through code are still in their early stages, but it is not hard to predict that we will see these trends grow and transform the way we continue to experience fashion. (Relatively) traditional forms of digital media continue to exert great influence in the way we experience fashion, with virality still being a main way fashion becomes mainstream. The value of in person experiences continues to rise, but in an increasingly digitized world, what will the real value of digital fashion be? 

Unpredicted, unforeseen. Thus comes the end of a completely revolutionary era in fashion. The marriage of the quirky, spontaneous style with intellectual depth and historic curiosity by Alessandro Michele has shaped fashion since its first collection in 2015. Creative differences prompted his departure from the house, which now eagerly awaits the beginning of a new chapter. A group of fashion enthusiasts across the globe are claiming the return of Tom Ford to the house. Is this the perfect climate for a Gucci by Tom Ford revival?

Shifts and switches have been common this year in fashion, many largely by surprise. The return of Daniel Lee, after swiftly departing from his successful stint at Bottega Veneta until 2021, is aimed at relaunching Burberry. Under, allegedly, the mentorship of the one and only Christopher Bailey, Burberry is about to take a turn under Mr. Lee’s direction.

The Etro family, who famously owned and was involved in all creative and business decisions of the brand, have given way to modern success story Marco de Vincenzo to bring his own vision to Etro. With his first collections out now, his ethereal, fantastic vision aggrandized by Etro’s study of colors and light, we predict a successful path for de Vincenzo at the Italian powerhouse.

Another pair causing a stir in the fashion community are inarguably Harris Reed, Nina Ricci’s new creative director and Rhuigi Villaseñor, who after a year of successful collaborations with his brand Rhude, was tapped by Swiss accessories giant Bally. In an effort to explore a current form of read-to-wear, they enlisted the luxury streetwear creative who’s first shoe had every A-list fashion player paying very close attention. This year was a first for many, as Matthieu Blazy's first collections at Bottega Veneta came to fruition and became some of the most adored of the year.

While alarming all fashion fans, legend Miuccia Prada and his business partner, Patrizio Bertelli, both resigned as co-CEO of the Prada Group. Naming former CEO of Luxottica and LVMH hospitality unit Andrea Guerra as business successor, fans can breathe easy knowing Ms. Prada’s plans to remain at the forefront of his eponymous line.

Although rumors about retirement and succession have been swirling ever since the appointment of Raf Simons as co-creative director, Miuccia’s love of fashion proves time and time again she is willingly standing in her position and moving forward with her labels. Besides, some are in fact crediting Miu Miu’s full on renaissance as a result of her shared creative endeavors at Prada.

The past few years have seen a considerable loss of big fashion names. This year, two legends in their own right left us. Thierry Mugler pioneered a new type of couture, and is now one of the reigning names in fashion. The brand’s founder and original mastermind, Thierry Mugler, tragically left this world at the beginning of 2022, leaving many speechless.

Issey Miyake with his impossible pleats and creative, almost theatrical, approach to fashion, passed away in the late summer. The list of trailblazing creators leaving us increases, as a whole generation of culturally-defining creatives gets inevitably older. New generations surge and new creatives are born, but to claim the replacement of such change-making geniuses as Issey Miyake and Thierry Mugler would be an impossible claim.

December 30th - 2022 waited until the very last minute to end its disruption in fashion. Yet another pivotal figure in fashion, Vivienne Westwood, left us peacefully on December 29th. The pioneer of punk fashion, and true creator of many of the concepts considered 'cool' today in the industry at large leaves big shoes to fill for the next generations. We hope her legacy and that of designers compromised with more than fashion will be carried on and expanded by the new generations of creators to come.

Overall, 2022 was a year of massive change for fashion and for the world. In a historic step, global high fashion and high end brands pulled away from one of their biggest markets, publicly condemning their policies. Such a compromising move was not short on bravery, igniting a sense of pride in us participants of fashion. The traumatic happenings of the past few years are felt in the new roaring joie de vivre seen in both older and newer creators. The most salient example of this, apart from the overall forecast of colorful trends to come next year, is the phenomenon of Pink PP by Pierpaolo Piccioli and Pantone at Valentino. This impactful color, of which we’ve already told its story, was a daring statement in a world full of change and desperately looking for hope.

Simultaneously, the late 90s/early 2000s trends rose in popularity, bringing in the perfect climate for brands like Miu Miu (LYST’s top brand of 2022) to live a new phase of expansion; and others like Diesel at Glenn Martens to return to a time when fashion was playful. To sum up all changes in fashion, as intertwined as it is with society, is a daunting task. However, when it comes to sustainability, this is still fashion’s pending subject. In 2023, for the sake of our planet, we need this trendy word to become more meaningful, and we as consumers can help support that by investing in those companies we believe do their best job. Labels like Burberry, the first brand to achieve a neutral carbon footprint; Prada and their Re-Nylon sourced from oceanic waste; and Chloé’s increasingly circular productions, still lead the way of a trend that means more than just fashion, but survival. 

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