It’s been a year of designer shake-ups in fashion (but honestly isn’t that becoming the norm?).
Brands as simple and familiar as American Apparel or Abercrombie & Fitch have been revamped with new creative heads just like the luxury labels (think Balenciaga and Gucci). Though it seems like product production is at an all time high (seems may honestly be a light term to use), designers still have the onus of standing out amongst it all. Here are a few that have.

1. Olivier Rousteing of Balmain
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No matter your opinions about his design aesthetic or business strategy, one must admit that Olivier Rousteing is a major part of the culture zeitgeist. Whether you chalk it up to his celebrity friends, bevy of social media followers (he’s the most followed fashion designer on Instagram) or the sex appeal of his designs, he’s definitely created a name for himself. So much so that one can quickly forget that Balmain is not the same size as brands that are thought to be it’s contemporaries like Givenchy and Valentino. Of course, it’s impossible to mention the brand and not acknowledge their well received H&M collaboration, which gave regular girls a chance to have a piece of their embellished pieces in their repertoires.
olivier rousteing rosie huntington whiteley chanel iman mary j blige olivier rousteing 30th birthday partyJennifer Lopez and Olivier Rousteing for Paper Magazine September 2015
Everyone rom Nicki Minaj to Jada Pinkett Smith, Jennifer Lopez to the Kardashian/Jenner clan has worn a Balmain piece this year.
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It’s easy to say that Balmain might have had the best year ever.
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2. Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy
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Though he had a somewhat crowning year in 2014, 2015 has been good to Riccardo Tisci as well. He made a sizable splash in September when he opened the gates of his New York-based fashion show to the public.
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And don’t forget his multiple Vogue covers. It’s been the perfect year to follow up his 2014. At one point, after naming people like Victor Cruz as the face of the brand, he even got fellow designer Donatella Versace to pose in an ad campaign.
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What we love about Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci is his commitment to diversity and pop culture. What other brands casts Alicia Keys, Erykah Badu, Victor Cruz and more in ads?
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alicia keys is the new face of givenchy

3. Laquan Smith
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Sure, sometimes it’s about the big brands–but not all designers are behind Parisian-based houses. Queens-raised LaQuan Smith has been doing his own thing for years (we’ve been supporting of course) and this year, it seems everyone was taking notice.
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Sure Kim Kardashian has taken to his sheer beauts and crop top and skirts sets (which caused insanity), but everyone from Beyonce to Jennifer Lopez to Rihanna has donned his wares before. It’s big news for a designer in his late 20s!
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His eye catching, silhouette driven designs are sure to continue grabbing notice, well into 2016.
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4. Alexander Wang of Alexander Wang and Balenciaga
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Being a New York-based designer and being named to a major couture house is a hell of a big deal and that’s what happened to Alexander Wang. Though his role was short lived, the designer no doubt learned a lot from the role while trolling through archives and working hand-in-hand with the house’s couturiers.
Alexander Wang Ready to Wear Spring 2016 43

Now having refocused his attentions solely on his namesake, it’ll be interesting to see what he has in store for the future.
Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West attend the Balenciaga show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall:Winter 2015:2016zoe kravitz tonight show jimmy fallon balenciaga off shoulder top and shorts67th+Annual+Primetime+Emmy+Awards+Arrivals-taraji-p-henson-alexander-wang

5. Kanye West
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This year we finally saw #YeezySeason in full. With fashion shows and his first Adidas line finally hitting stores, we got a chance to really see Ye’s design chops.
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What we found? His strengths lie within the shoes that he creates that sell out release after release.
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While Adidas has already announced they will not produce the next apparel line for the rapper, we doubt he’s going to slow down.
Kanye West stepped in style at Cafe Habana in Malibu.

That does it!
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