The fitted sweatpant became a menswear trend in 2012 thanks to both the popularity of heritage brands and image obsessed rappers sporting them. Alexander Wang’s main and T by Alexander Wang brands are reaping the benefits, as their sweats have become the new uniform for gentlemen looking to upgrade their usual heather grey gear. Wang’s use of leather and mesh are also right on trend and favorites of his famous friends like A$AP Rocky.
Without a doubt, 2012 belonged to Givenchy and it’s creative director, Riccardo Tisci. Tisci’s style signatures like his dark palette and sharp tailoring are always fashion favorites, but it was his use of graphic and digital prints and Kanye’s co-sign that brought mainstream hype. The Rottweiler print continued to be a hot item and the pup was repurposed in a variety of new styles.The shark inspired pre-fall 2012 collection brought a legion of new followers sporting crewnecks covered in jaws. Tisci’s fall 2012 collection using religious iconography already has lesser brands biting, proving that the house that Hubert de Givenchy built is showing no signs of slowing down in 2013.
Balenciaga has always been a popular brand, but it was designer Nicolas Ghesquiere that inspired a cult-like following. Ghesquiere’s futuristic sensibilities and precise silhouettes alongside classic leather goods always prompted both awe and profit. In 2012, the Egyptofunk collection had both sexes battling for sweaters and tees emblazoned with Blade Runner-style prints that felt equally retro and new. Also, no designer sneaker was in higher demand than the Balenciaga Arena. Now, with American designer wunderkind Alexander Wang at the helm after Ghesquiere’s departure, Balenciaga is sure to take a sportier, more accessible direction. Time will tell if Balenciaga remains one of the most progressive brands today.
Margiela is a brand that is synonymous with secrets, as the actual Martin Margiela exited the brand sometime ago and left it in the hands of a team of unknown designers. The brand is often conceptual and always expensive, and for most, the closest you could get to Margiela was the clearance rack or a Jay-Z bar. However, thanks to its H&M collaboration, Margiela became a worldwide household name. The collection reissued over a hundred pieces that were hits from Margiela’s past at more accessible price points (and lesser quality), although the collection sold poorly. Whether or not it was the right direction for either brand, its afforded Margiela worldwide exposure on more than a boutique level.
Respect must be given to streetwear brand SSUR. Thanks to A$AP Rocky and his crew, they’re enjoying a huge influx in popularity. SSUR is the brand behind the Comme des Fuckdown branded gear that you’ve likely seen on rappers, hypebeasts and models alike. It’s a nod to the infamous Japanese fashion brand Comme des Garcons that most young fashion fiends, likely cannot afford. The New York-based brand’s momentum is likely to continue thanks to the strength of their graphics like “F*ck you pay me”, “Channel” and Hermes-inspired SSUR skyline.
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