December 18th, 2012
Best of 2012, Celebrity Style, Christian Louboutin
Best of 2012: Designer of the Year
By Claire

Today, we’re taking a look back at the hottest designers of 2012, the brands Fashion Bomb celebs rocked the most and rocked the best:

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.

3. Zara

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.

5. Givenchy

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!

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49 Responses to “Best of 2012: Designer of the Year”

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is DEFINITELY a hard one…A. Wang, Givenchy, and C. Louboutin have been slaying for years… but in 2012, I definitely think Givenchy was standout among the designs and the celebs… Also, Zara really came to the forefront this year (at least it did for me : ) and I like that celebs and everyday ppl wear it. So, it’s between Givency and Zara for me. Definitely Givenchy if we’re considering celebs only.

  2. Kitty B. says:

    I’m all about Alexander Wang nd Zara, but I have a feeling Givenchy is going to take it!

  3. Samantha says:

    CL and Stella McCartney

  4. Jackie says:

    Even though I like all the other brands, zara takes it for me. Everytime I go in there, I fall in love with something. They are very fashionable and affordable compared to the other brands.

  5. kory conover says:

    I’m torn between Alex Wang, Stella, and Monseiur Louboutin.

  6. JParris says:

    Stella McCartney

  7. For me its a tie between Wang and McCartney

  8. Claire LOL you can’t have Zara, they have publicly admitted to knocking off designer looks. Stella McCartney HANDS DOWN… Balmain is deserving of an honorable mention.

  9. Claire says:

    @TheFashionistaChic If it were up to ME, Mary Katrantzou and Balmain would’ve been on the list as well, but this is not a dictatorship, it is indeed a democracy. And Zara actually epitomizes the democratization of fashion, no?

  10. Kerriann says:

    Stella McCartney

  11. Suri says:

    Zara? I mean really? Claire come on now? They copy real designers. It’s their job. By definition, they can’t be put in the same box A. Wang, Stella and others. Smh.

  12. Claire says:

    @Suri et al I already explained how these nominations work. It was based on you guys’s suggestions, so please direct your angst elsewhere. Blessings.

  13. t-fal says:

    How DID mary Katrantzou not make the list? I voted for givenchy, but everybody rocking that dammed rottweiler tee got on my last nerve!

  14. jeda says:

    Stella McCartney all the way! Givenchy is popular, but I still don;t like the clothes…*shoulder shrug*

  15. Larissa says:

    Givenchy everywhere

  16. IMO says:

    Personally, my fave designers are A. Wang and Louboutin (+ definitely have love for Zara) BUT if we’re talking about ‘designer of the year’ based on how many people and celebs wore their garments…i.e. how visible they were throughout the year…it’s to toss-up between Givenchy & Louboutin b/c Lord KNOWS we saw a lot of that rottweiler tee & always see red-bottoms. #truth #handsdown

  17. Faith says:

    Stella McCartney all the way!

  18. binks says:

    It has been a big year for Stella McCartney and personally I like her clothes better.

  19. lol when i saw kanye’s pic with alexander wang i thought “uhmmm, Kanye? designer of the year?!” haha.

  20. cheriemacherie says:


  21. Dobe says:

    LMAO @ “Blessings.” Man, I love when people end a good rebuttal with that word.

    Anywho, this is a tough one… but based on popularity this year, I would have to say Riccardo Tisci takes it… both men AND women were rocking Givenchy all over the place this year.

  22. also, the ricardo tisci for givenchy stuff is way too ed hardy. its too soon!

  23. Dee Dee says:

    Awww man this is a tough 1! all these are good picks, i’m torn!

  24. Goldeelocks says:

    I’m just a fan of Zara. Affordable and I can’t go wrong on my budget.

  25. Goldeelocks says:

    I’m just a fan of Zara!

  26. Elle says:

    Alexader Wang soooo did that.

  27. Goldeelocks says:

    I’m just a fan of Zara. You can go wrong with the awesome clothes on a budget.

  28. TRUTH says:

    Zara IS NOT a designer! Givenchy’s highlight is its tshirt. Could have been a better selection

  29. COCO says:

    Christian Loubitin!!!!!

  30. Danielle says:


  31. Kahalia says:

    Claire, I am a long time reader and commenter AND supporter. I wonder if you can make the site easier to use by having a “scroll to top” button at the bottom of the page?

  32. Anonymous says:

    This was sooooooo Alexander Wang’s year! Hands down on THE table!! Although CL shoes were the catch this year…It got very tired looking for me…so, as an AWang lover..he get’s my vote!

  33. Anon2 says:

    Zara being nominated for designer of the year is laughable. Ok, just because your readers don’t know the difference between a Brand and a designer doesn’t mean you have to follow suit.

  34. Jinx Moneypenny says:

    Wang. No contest.

  35. Jihan says:

    I’m only crying because no one chose Mary Katrantzou. My vote’s for Wang

  36. Jei says:

    Where is Balmain?!!! My fav!! Zara..bye. Balmain && Alexander Wang.

  37. stacyjenny says:

    Look at Kim Kardashian , she is looking fabulous I love her dressing style and always love her. Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Rita Ora are looking damn gorgeous. Rihanna dressing style is pretty unique , I like her attire very much. Love these peoples.

  38. Camillia says:

    I don’t think that it’s appropriate to compare couture designers to a shoe legend or a retailer, there should be a totally different category for Zara to compare to other retailers and another category for shoe designers, including Louboutin of course. Just my thoughts. It was a hard choice for me to choose between Wang and Stella, but in the end, I went with Stella because of her line and her history with Chloe.

  39. LM says:

    Stella got it 4 me ! But i’ll always love Louboutin.

  40. LolaBeee says:

    Claire, I just have to say I LOVE those Louise V heels with the coloured peeptoe and clear shoe body. Absolutely adore them!! Any word on where I can buy them or something more affordable?


  41. Tammy M. says:

    I don’t think throwing a bunch of stars and random dog faces on T-shirts and sweaters, is fashion forward or DOY material.

    F.Y.I: Zara is a trendy copycat retailer, see F21, it is an insult to real designers to clump them together.

    Alexander and Stella have both been killing it this year. Although, I have been loving Gucci and Naeem Khan myself

  42. Pinky says:

    Alexandar wang && Stella McCartney did their thing this year. I particularly luv zara’s classic chic looks at affordable prices.

    although i do like a few of CL’s pieces I really feel like him & Givenchy are wayyyy over rated

  43. babyB says:

    It’s funny that so many people love Stella on this site. I will say the pieces shown here were nice but if you ever go on another fave fashion blog of mine, GOFUGYOURSELF, they show the really bad side to Stella’s much so, it’s put me off Stella McCartney. Some of her stuff (which she often wears herself) is atrocious!
    I personally voted for Zara because it’s the only one I could honestly afford and I’m all for the democratization of fashion.

  44. Sydni says:

    Very hard one.. Alexander Wang is def one of my top designers right now, but you must admit that Givenchy had all the celebs running in circles this year.. thus my hat tips off to Tisci.

  45. Ja'me London says:

    who voted Zara… get out!! Zara copies all of the high end designers. Louboutins are HIGHLY over rated and Loboutin is not the originator of the red bottom. Stella McCartney is great but she is crazy for charging 1000 dollars for polyester clothes. Alexander Wang is my favorite designer for women but what Riccardo Tisci is doing at Givenchy is the stuff of legends. Let’s give credit where it is due.

  46. Madpet says:

    I will have to say Christian Louboutin and Stella McCartney.

  47. Frieda K says:

    I’m confused: Wang, Zara, Givenchy, Louboutin… in that order I guess

  48. Marie says:

    This is an hard one! But it definitely is between Stella McCartney and Givenchy I don’t even know who to vote for!

  49. Nikkibellarae says:

    Stella McCartney then A. Wang.

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