In 2012, the menswear demi-god Hedi Slimane unretired from fashion by taking helm of all creative direction at Yves Saint Laurent, which included a much debated name change. The reviews for Slimane’s first ever women’s collection were lukewarm, but his menswear is as strong as ever featuring precisely cut leathers and his signature slim silhouette. Devoted Slimane fans still wear his signature Dior Homme denim that changed the way many men buy and wear jeans. It’s time to liquidate your Givenchy and move on to Saint Laurent - just be prepared for all black everything, including a black card to pay for it.
If 2012 was the year of the Givenchy Rottweiler, 2013 will be the year of Kenzo tiger. Their tiger crewnecks along with their Vans collaboration featuring printed sneakers were hot items amongst street style blogs last fall and will continue to be on trend. The “Welcome to the Jungle” Spring 2013 menswear collection was full of abstract animal prints rendered in light fabrics mixed with ear tones and of course, embroidered tiger sweaters. Prepare to see plenty of Kenzo in the streets of the urban jungle this spring and summer.
2012 brought heightened attention to streetwear brand Black Scale thanks to famous fans like Jay-Z and collaborationswith A$AP Mob, Stussy and Clot. Their ready to wear collection featuring mixed textiles and leather in tailored silhouettes are reasonably priced and appeals to grown shoppers wanting more than t-shirts. Black Scale has been using occult and esoteric symbols in their t-shirts, tees and accessories for a while. Other brands are just catching on, mimicking Black Scale’s minimal use of religious and art symbolism. The image of their 2012 headwear is a tableau drawing inspiration from the Last Supper, setting up the brand for total domination in style and art direction for 2013.
Hype means nothing if the product doesn’t live up to expectations. Pyrex Vision, the brand by RSVP Gallery Owner and Kanye West advisor Virgil Abloh recently dropped his first collection entitled "YOUTH ALWAYS WINS" to mixed reviews, mostly due to high prices. Alboh’s strength as a storyteller and trendsetter is evident, emphasizing youth by utilizing Champion gear and screen printing block letters and sports numbering. The line seems unfinished using Caravaggio "The Entombment of Christ" screen printed without editing - it’s styling rather than fashion design. We’ll see if the hype continues as more collections are put out in 2013. It’s amazing what a Yeezy co-sign will do.
Balenciaga made the 2012 list of top brands thanks to its former designer, Nicolas Ghesquiere. However, what will make Balenciaga big in 2013 is the hype surrounding their new creative director Alexander Wang. The 28 year old Taiwanese-American brings downtown New York cool and an extremely devoted worldwide following. However, Wang has never worked for a big brand like Balenciaga, as he started his eponymous brand after dropping out of Parsons. Wang is oft criticized as being a stylist and not a designer, but time will tell if his draping techniques and sporty aesthetic bring a new sense of youthfulness to Balenciaga.
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