During a year of definitive fashion moments, it feels as though we are on the cusp of something big. Shocking twists and salacious scandals have left us stuck in a purgatory of some kind, unsure of what lies ahead in the fashion space. One thing we know for sure? That this year has been a rollercoaster of industry-altering events, changing the landscape forever.
Read on for our rundown of the five most shocking fashion moments of 2022.
THE FALL OF YE
2022 was the year that we witnessed Ye’s fall from grace. His troubling antisemitic comments which shocked the world were just the beginning; at a surprise Yeezy show, his decision to wear a ‘White Lives Matter’ shirt sparked outrage, and his refusal to apologise (all whilst calling Black Lives Matter a ‘scam’ via his Instagram page, which has since been deleted) made matters worse. The cherry on top of the cake? During a podcast episode of ‘Drink Champs’, Ye addressed his relationship with Adidas directly, stating “I can say antisemitic things, and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what?”
Needless to say, what followed was a tidal wave sized scale of cancel-culture that we had never seen before in the fashion industry. After being dropped by Adidas, Gap publicly severed its ties with Ye – pulling its Yeezy Gap line shortly after.
RAF SIMONS: THE END OF AN ERA
In November 2022, Raf Simons announced that the Spring/Summer 2023 collection would be the last by his eponymous brand. After 27 years, Simons broke the news to a sea of devastated followers. Defined by decades of widely renowned collections, industry-altering runway shows and now, a new horde of Gen Z admirers, the news marked a bittersweet moment in history for the fashion world. In Simon’s own words, he thanked everyone “for believing in our vision and for believing in me.” Tears were absolutely shed.
GOODBYE GUCCI: LOVE, ALESSANDRO
After 7 years as Gucci’s Creative Director, Alessandro Michele waved goodbye to Gucci. A champion of genderless fashion fluidity, Michele was often credited with reinvigorating the brand to its current cosmic levels of success. His ability to coalesce Gucci’s heritage aspects with contemporary twists catapulted the historic house from an uncertain future in the modern fashion climate, to a solidified position as luxury leaders. And whilst fashion said farewell to Michele last month, it still eagerly awaits the announcement of Gucci’s new Creative Director.
CONTROVERSY IN PARADISE: BALENCIAGA BOWED OUT
In perhaps the most shocking scandal of all in 2022, Balenciaga dominated headlines with their infamous ‘Gift Shop’ campaign. The controversial shoot, which featured highly criticised art direction (including children & damning court paper ‘props’) has forced what was originally one of the industry frontrunners into fashion exile. Since the controversy, Balenciaga has yet to post on any of their channels – excluding a lengthy apology letter which failed to impress many followers. As of the 28th December the post has now been replaced in favour of a ‘Happy New Year’ message from the brand, featuring a vintage Cristobal Balenciaga footage compilation. Comments, understandably, were disabled. Cue total radio silence.
A NEW DAWN FOR OFF-WHITE
Following the tragic news of Virgil Abloh’s death in November 2021, the appointment of the late designer’s ex-stylist and Dazed Editor-In-Chief Ibrahim Kamara as Off-White’s new Creative Director signalled the dawn of a new age for the label. A close friend and confidante of the late Abloh, Kamara acknowledged the shoes that he would be filling, stating that “He changed the world and left an indelible mark on all those who met him and beyond.” As the industry mourned, the Off-White legacy lived on.
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See also: ROUNDING UP A PUNCHY YEAR FOR PALACE