2017 was a huge year for the fashion industry that saw a lot of changes and headline-makers. Here is our pick for the most important fashion stories of the year:
- The year began with the news, which broke in February, that Riccardo Tisci would be stepping down as creative director for Givenchy, a post which he held for an impressive 12 years. Since this revelation, Tisci has yet to be taken in by another brand, despite rumours persisting that he will eventually replace Donatella Versace at the head of her family brand.
- A few months later, in April, another news story would take the world by storm; one which announced the departure of Alexandra Shulman as Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue. What was just as interesting was whom her successor was: Edward Enninful, the first man in the position, and a black man at that. Tongues were set wagging at the potential shift in tone, subject matter and audience for the future of British Vogue. Enninful’s first issue for the magazine featured model-of-the-moment, Adwoah Aboah, who in 2017, held the titles GQ ‘Woman of the Year’ and the Business Council of Fashion’s ‘Model of the Year’.
- This year was also a whirlwind for Christopher Bailey, who was replaced as CEO by Marco Gobbetti in July (but remained as chief creative officer), only to announce his complete departure from the brand in October, effective in March 2018. These changes go to show the shifting attitudes the industry has towards its most cherished designers and business-people; change has become desirable and it seems even the best are not guaranteed more than 10 years at a brand which they transformed.
- When it comes to other headline makers, it is clear that Donatella Versace had the media in the palm of her hand upon the debut of her Spring/Summer 18 collection, for which she invited her brother Gianni’s favourite supermodels to walk in the finale. Naomi Campbell, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford and Helena Christensen emerged from behind a curtain and induced euphoria to mark the 20th anniversary of Gianni’s death. Perhaps as a reward for bringing the fashion world to its knees, Donatella was subsequently awarded Icon of the Year at the British Council of Fashion Awards.
- 2017 was also a year in which ethics in the industry were reconsidered. One example comes from James Scully, a prolific model casting agent, who penned an essay for Business of Fashion to expose the mistreatment of working models by certain fashion houses. The essay was widely covered by industry-commentators and the named brands were swift in their promise to review the way in which their models were taken care of.
- Additionally, the age-old fur debate reared its head again upon Gucci’s announcement that it would no longer work with pelt. Along with the likes of Armani, Ralph Lauren and its Kering cousin, Stella McCartney, becoming fur-free, Gucci additionally pledged to explore more sustainable ways in producing its textiles and to avoid ‘oversaturation’ of its products on the market. This is definitely a conversation that will develop in the next year.