And the nominees are…
1. Alexander Wang
What a year it’s been for Alexander Wang! With a slew of blockbuster collections under his belt, he’s moving on to bless Balenciaga with a dose of his brilliance.
Not that he needs to join the ranks of a historic Parisian house to claim his place in the industry. His eponymous line does fantastically well, thanks to its mix of sport and sex, which has found fans in everyone from Nicki Minaj to Evelyn Lozada and Rihanna.
Another bonus: Mr. Wang is a champion of diversity in a sometimes whitewashed landscape. From casting Zoe Kravitz in his T campaigns in the past to outfitting and escorting Azealia Banks to the Met Gala, Alexander is cutting edge, bold, daring, and down.
It only gets better from here. Read our buzz about the industry’s wunderkind here.
2. Stella McCartney
Silent, but significant, 2012 British Fashion Awards Designer of the Year Stella McCartney has been a quiet fave of Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Rita Ora, Beyonce, and the Kardashian clan.
A few stand out McCartney looks from 2012: Rihanna’s Mandarin Hotel Evening 2012 printed Tuxedo dress, Beyonce’s Nets Game Monogram Embroidered Blouse, Naomie Harris’s Skyfall Embroidered Dress, Solange’s Spring 2012 paisley number, and of course that Colorblock Shift noone could get enough of:
Betcha didn’t realize how good of a year it’s been for Ms. McCartney (and her multiple BFA’s didn’t hurt). Read all about it here.
Sure straight off the runway works for celebs, but Zara is a brand beloved by both stars and everyday people alike.
Zara unapologetically takes cues from the catwalk, then offers its interpretations without breaking the bank.
Good quality, flattering pieces, and affordable prices? You can’t beat that with a bat.
See our coverage of Zara here.
4. Christian Louboutin
Let’s be honest: Christian Louboutin has been slaying the scene for years.
But perhaps this year stood out thanks to his fabulous capsule collections and collaborations. 2012 marked the 20th anniversary of the French shoe designer, which meant an onslaught of lust inducing and drool worthy high heels. Despite their $3,995 price tag, his popular Isolde stompers found homes in the wardrobes of Nene Leakes, Monica, Kim Kardashian, and more:
Not to be overlooked were his Unbout Illusion Pumps, whose clear body and colored tip rendered them endlessly versatile. It seemed absolutely everyone had the shoe in different colors. No matter how they were rocked, the shoes werqed.
There’s simply no stopping Monsieur Louboutin. See his year in review here.
Few labels have been more ubiquitous than Givenchy this year.
Both men and women have fallen hard for Riccardo Tisci’s simple yet undeniably eye catching designs, consisting of star addled or rottweiler printed t-shirts and sweatshirts as well as sophisticated shifts and separates.
It seemed men in particular couldn’t go a week without rocking a piece of Givenchy. $300 t-shirts flew off shelves as Kanye West, Wocka Flocka, Pusha T, Carmelo Anthony, Victor Cruz, Swizz Beatz, and more flaunted their wealth and good taste on their backs.
Women got in on it, as well. Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Rita Ora, and more slipped on tees, dresses, you name it. Anything signed Tisci was fair game.
Aside from exuding effortless cool, Tisci is also down for diversity. He counts Ciara as his muse, throws kilts Kanye’s way for performances, and designed Jay-Z and Kanye’s Watch the Throne album artwork.
Most popular certainly goes to Givenchy, but is Riccardo Tisci Designer of the Year?
More 2012 superlatives are on the way!