What better way to round up 2021 than with a look back at the year’s best fashion brand moments? This year, brands amazed us with unexpected collaborations like Gucci x Balenciaga, major comebacks (hello, Mark Jacobs!) and sadly, a heartbreaking loss too, with the passing of one of the greatest fashion design icons of the 21st century, Virgil Abloh.
Gucci and Balenciaga stunned the fashion world when they announced a collaboration, launching the collection “hack” into stores. Alessandro Michele (creative director for Gucci) used quotes and logos from Demna (creative director for Balenciaga) and mixed them with his personal taste and signatures—the 70’s, suits and feathers. Later in 2021, the link-up between Versace and Fendi, better known as Fendace, was another collab to take note of.
Known for his unexpected surprises, Kanye West announced The First Yeezy x Gap collaboration this year too. Out of nowhere, a cerulean puffer appeared on Gap’s website, which was the first product of the collaboration to be put up for sale. Balenciaga’s Demna definitely had a great year too. Not only was he a part of the collaboration with Gucci, but he also presented his first couture collection this year, a series of beautifully sculpted gowns, trench coats and haute jeans. And that’s not all for Balenciaga. 2021 was also the year that the brand teamed up with the video game Fortnite and to create an unforeseen line of skins.
While everyone was focused on virtual shows and lookbooks, Marc Jacobs decided to stay old-school in 2021. After being absent from the runway for over a year, he returned with a special showcase at New York’s Public Library. Cocoon shapes and huge platform shoes mixed with holographic dresses and faux furs was the way to go for Jacobs.
Celebrating his 10th anniversary at Balmain this year, creative director Olivier Rousteing brought, strength, bold beauty, diversity, and craftsmanship on to the runway. Balmain’s spring/summer 2022 line was the talk of the town during Paris Fashion Week, which showcased iconic designs from the fashion house’s past decade while being surrounded by iconic women such as supermodel Naomi Campbell. A personal message from Beyoncé was also shared with Rousteing.
After a decade of working as the creative director for Celine, 2021 was also the year that Phoebe Philo launched a brand under her own name. But of all the big moments, nothing resounded quite like the loss of the iconic fashion designer Virgil Abloh. Two days after his death, Abloh’s spring 2022 collection was celebrated at Art Basel in Miami. Friends of the designer including Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and Rihanna were present to pay tribute to the unforgettable talent.