Style / Fashion

The Fashion Evolution(s) of 2023

From 90s supermodels to acquisitions and noteworthy collaborations, the fashion industry proves why the only constant is change

Sep 05, 2023 | By Sanjeeva Suresh
Putting together the capsule's four-piece suit for a fitting. Photo: Philipp Paulus/ Banana Republic
Peter Do putting together the Banana Republic capsule’s four-piece suit for a fitting. Photo: Philipp Paulus/ Banana Republic

The fashion industry has made international headlines from luxury designers making high street collaborative collections to widely-recognised 90s supermodels’ endorsements, and it so happens to have coincided as we reach this year’s Spring/Summer fashion week calendar. As lead up to the coming New York Fashion Week, LUXUO looks back at the impactful movers and shakers that have caused ripples in the fashion industry.

Noteworthy Collaborations And Appointments

Helmut Lang helmed of his eponymous label from 1986 to 2005 and during that tenure Prada acquired a 51 percent stake of the company in 1999 before acquiring it completely in 2004. Between 2001 and 2004 saw the brand sales drop from US $46.3 million dollars in 2001 to US $24.8 million dollars in 2004. Since Lang’s departure in 2005 a slew of creative directors were brought in, each with their own take and sensibility however one concesus remained – the brand still lacked a clear direction. Enter Peter Do. As reported by Hypebeast, Do will showcase the Spring/Summer 2024 collection for the brand later this month during its showcase at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) and this will be Helmut Lang’s first NYFW runway show since 2020. So will Do deliver in ways his redecessors could not? Peter Do’s work combines mysticism and miminalism with a dynamically contemporary take. While time will tell if he can bring the “brand back to its former glory”, his creativity to go beyond predictability to the realm of provocative (from his tailoring to his silhouettes and fabrications) certainly make him a contender.

Peter Do with his back to the camera as usual, busy at work. Photo: Philipp Paulus/ Banana Republic
Peter Do with his back to the camera as usual, busy at work. Photo: Philipp Paulus/ Banana Republic

Just months after it was annouced that Peter Do would take over Helmut Lang as the label’s new creative director in May, Banana Republic annouced last month that Do would come on board to release an exclusive collaborative capsule collection. Set to be released both online and in physical stores this October, the collection will include a reimagined take on “Banana Republic’s quintessential shapes” with pieces ranging from structured outerwear to soft knitwear and utility silk shirting.

Fitting behind the scenes. Photo: Philipp Paulus/ Banana Republic
Fitting behind the scenes. Photo: Philipp Paulus/ Banana Republic

It is also interesting to note that Phoebe Philo the designer who took Peter Do under her wing at Céline is also making her return to fashion with her own independent fashion house with her inaugural collection set to be unveiled in later this month.

Read More: Luxury Fashion’s Ever-Changing Creative Directorships

Claire Waight Keller on the other had, has been tapped to launched a collection With UNIQLO. The 30-piece collection is comprised of a range of versatile, relaxed selections including outerwear, tops, skirts dresses and more.  “… I also wanted to bring my sort of British sensibilities—the fact that I’ve always loved a little bit of this boy-meets-girl style, and the idea of attitude dressing,” Waight Keller told Vogue.

Clare Waight Keller for Uniqlo. Photo: Uniqlo
Clare Waight Keller for Uniqlo. Photo: Uniqlo
behind the scenes of the Uniqlo: C collection. Photo: Uniqlo
Photo: Uniqlo
Looks from the Uniqlo: C collection. Photo: Uniqlo
Looks from the Uniqlo: C collection. Photo: Uniqlo

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Billionaire Boys Club, the Pharrell-founded luxe streetwear label unveiled their highly-anticipated Moncler collaboration. The collection features the combined house logos that are comprised of the “BBC’s astronaut motif inside Moncler’s classic blue logo shape”. The new emblem makes its appearance on both the down-filled puffer jacket and Melton wool varsity jacket.

From one luxury streetwear label to another, Supreme’s creative director Tremaine Emory left the company last week, citing alleged “systematic racism…within the structure of Supreme” in his resignation letter. Emory was Supreme’s first-ever creative director when he first held the role a year and a half ago. His appointment came shortly after “the streetwear label was acquired by VF Corp, which also owns North Face, in a US $2.1 billion dollar deal,” according to a report by The Evening Standard.

Moncler x Billionaire Boys Club taps onto hip-hop artists Pusha T and No Malice for their collaboration. Photo: Moncler
Moncler x Billionaire Boys Club taps onto hip-hop artists Pusha T and No Malice for their Fall/ Winter 2023 collaboration. Photo: Moncler

Read More: Why Does Fashion Love Collaboration?

The Year of Pivotal Acquisitions 

After coach-owned Tapestry announced that it was acquiring Capri Holdings, the Q4 fiscal year saw earnings fall short of expectations. The acquisition was initially intended to create a new fashion conglomerate to rival that of Kering and LVMH. According to Hypebeast, Tapestry reported sales of US $1.62 billion dollars, down from last year’s US $1.625 billion dollars and even further behind Wall Street’s estimate of US $1.653 billion dollars. 

Read More: Luxury American Company Tapestry to Acquire Capri Holdings in a Bid to Rival European Luxury Conglomerates.

The Return of the 90s Supermodel

The famed foursome comprised of Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington reunited once again to front the joint British and American September 2023 Vogue covers. The cover also marks Edward Enninful’s last September issue as the the editor-in-chief of British Vogue.

Vogue US September 2023 cover
British Vogue September 2023 cover

The cover and spread (photographed by Rafael Pavarotti) comes in line with Apple TV+’s much anticipated, new documentary series dubbed “The Super Models” and over three decades after Peter Lindbergh’s January 1990 cover of British Vogue which is perhaps one of the most prolific editorial and fashion magazine covers of all time. The 1990 cover also featured the late Tatjana Patitz who passed away earlier this year.

British Vogue, January 1990

Alongside the cover of Vogue, 90s supermodels have also made a resurgence by becoming the ambassadors of multiple luxury brands. Naomi Campbell is the face of Boss’ Fall/Winter 2023 Campaign, Cindy Crawford fronts MCM’s Autumn/Winter 2023 campaign while Kate Moss is currently featured on both Diet Coke and Saint Laurent’s Fall 2023 campaigns. Last year also saw Linda Evangelista face the Fendi Baguette Winter 2022 Campaign while Kate Moss posed for Aigner’s Fall/Winter 2022 campaign. Take Kate Moss for instance, to continuously front a luxury campaign year after year is a testament to her staying power and legacy even with a large beverage brand like Coke (regardless of the “luxury” appeal). Nostalgia and sentimentality aside, why this cover is particularly poignant is the shift in the notion of what a “supermodel” is in 2023. Brands are opting to feature influencers with large social media followings in the new era of the “Nepo Baby” with the likes of Hailey Bieber, Kendall Jenner and Kaia Gerber. As models are continuously discovered online it appears as if social media prowess comes first, modelling “talent” comes second. Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Kate Moss could very well be the last generation of the traditional “supermodel”.

Kate Moss appointed as Diet Coke's new creative director
Photo: The Coca-Cola Company

The Diet Coke Break Collection By Kate Moss features four limited-editions designs, inspired by Diet Coke’s archives, reimagined and rewritten by Kate Moss.

Kate Moss for Saint Laurent Fall 2023
Kate Moss for Saint Laurent Fall 2023. Photo: Gray Sorrenti

Video: Youtube @yvessaintlaurent

So why now you may ask? While Gen Z are enamoured wth the Y2K fashion trends of the early 2000s (a “style” that Millennials are all to familiar with having grown up during the era), Gen Xers are seemingly left out as brands shift their aim to the burgeoning market of younger, Gen Z consumers at times alienating the Gen X demographic. That’s where nostalgia comes into play. Staple faces parents of millenials grew up with like Moss or Crawford connect a relevancy in the generation and cater to the nostalgia.

Cindy Crawford for MCM Autumn/ Winter 2023. Photo: Juergen Teller
Cindy Crawford for MCM Autumn/ Winter 2023. Photo: Juergen Teller
Video: Youtube @boss
Naomi Campbell for Boss Fall/ Winter 2023. Photo: Boss
Naomi Campbell for Boss Fall/ Winter 2023. Photo: Hugo Boss

It is clear that September 2023 is only the precipice of change the fashion industry will see moving forward. With Peter Do cementing his legacy in New York as a design powerhouse to the return of Phoebe Philo and Clare Waight Keller alongside supermodels fronting both editorial spreads and fashion brand campaigns and Tapestry’s acquisition of Capri Holdings, this shift is perhaps the culmination of nostalgia, business strategy and brand ingenuity.

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