All week long, Sharp’s editors will be wrapping up 2015 by celebrating the very best of virtually everything that passed through our filters this year: the movies and shows we watched, the clothes we wore, the music we listened to and the gear we used.
Today, our fashion department runs down the most significant menswear moments of the past 12 months, from designer shake-ups to the rise of Trudeau-mania.
Zoolander Returns to the Runway
Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson took to the runway at Valentiono’s FW15 show in a surprise appearance to announce Zoolander 2. The duo served up their best Blue Steel as their model alter egos, Derek Zoolander and Hansel, to close the show, much to the delight of the audience — the ridiculously good-looking stunt went viral on Twitter and Instagram in a matter of minutes.
First-Ever New York Men’s Fashion Week
In recognition of menswear’s growing popularity, New York finally took the plunge and joined London, Paris and Florence in hosting a standalone men’s fashion week, joining the calendar for the SS16 presentations in July. Thanks to the CFDA’s decades of experience organizing the women’s shows, the inaugural men’s event was executed flawlessly. The presentations by the likes of Thom Browne and Billy Reid did not disappoint, and neither did the audience — they showed up dressed to impress.
After years of boldly declaring himself a fashion visionary, Kanye West debuted his first adidas-backed collection during the FW15 New York Fashion Week shows in February. The line, which took 18 months to design, consisted of military-inspired sportswear displayed dramatically on 50 male and female models. While the clothing was intriguing, it was the collection’s sneakers that truly took off — the adidas Yeezy Boost 750 and Yeezy Boost 350 both sold out in a matter of minutes when they first became available.
Alessandro Michele Reinvents Gucci
The fashion world was shocked by the sudden departure of Gucci’s longtime creative director Frida Giannini at the beginning of the year, and even more surprised by her replacement. Gucci moved Giannini’s previously unknown associate, Alessandro Michele, into the top job, tasking him with overhauling the flagging luxury brand mere weeks before the FW15 womenswear collection. His first show was critically and commercially acclaimed, and he carried this same eclectic, bohemian vision into his menswear designs, delivering an androgynous ’70s-influenced aesthetic that challenges the status quo.
LeBron James and Nike Make it Official
Nike locked down its premier athlete for good by entering into an unprecedented lifetime agreement with NBA superstar LeBron James. The financial terms for the deal haven’t been disclosed, but it almost certainly far surpasses the 10-year, $300 million deal that Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant signed last year. It’s good to be the King.
Public School’s Year of Domination
Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne had a hell of a year. In addition to the continued popularity and growth of their brand Public School, the streetwear-savvy duo were appointed as the new designers of DKNY after Donna Karan’s retirement, revealing their first collection for SS16 at New York Fashion Week in September. Closely following this debut, they had another exciting first: partnering up with Cadillac to present their Pre-Fall 2016 show in Dubai, putting them on par with larger labels like Louis Vuitton and Dior that hold impressive international shows every season.
Apple Watch, the Year’s Must-Have Accessory
Depending on who you ask, the release of the Apple Watch was either a resounding success or one of the tech giant’s rare missteps. While consumer adoption has been slower than with the iPhone, Apple entering the smartwatch ring has motivated their competitors to do the same. One area where they have definitely trounced the competition is in their ability to curry the fashion world’s favour — the Apple Watch showed up in countless fashion publications (including Sharp) and landed major partnerships with high-end labels like Hèrmes. We still love a classic chronograph, but Apple has our attention — we’ll see if they can hold it in 2016.
Justin Trudeau, Media Darling
Canada’s new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been getting a lot of international media coverage thanks to his positive policies and actions, but we’ll be honest, his good looks and modern style are garnering him just as much attention. Case in point: a fawning profile and photo shoot of Trudeau and his wife Sophie in the U.S. edition of Vogue. Sure, the feature had his detractors up in arms, wondering why he was using his time to court a fashion publication, and others wish that they had both been dressed in Canadian designers, but regardless of criticism, it’s nice to see Canada in the news for positive, and fashionable, reasons again.
The ’70s are back again, and apparently here to stay. Emerging as one of the dominant trends in SS15, inspiration from this romantic yet troubled decade was still going strong come FW15, and could be seen yet again at the SS16 shows. Fashion always runs cyclically, but this overall influence of the ’70s has firmly taken hold and is inspiring everything from colour choices and the return of corduroy to an unprecedented prevalence of suede and the loosening up of suiting silhouettes.
Ralph Lauren Steps Aside
Ralph Lauren isn’t ready to retire, but 2015 did see the American fashion and lifestyle mogul step down as CEO of Ralph Lauren Corp, handing over the reigns to Stefan Larson. Previously the global president of Old Navy, Larson is coming off of an impressive run at the discount retailer, with strong sales under his leadership leading to stronger profits than expected at the troubled Gap Inc. Fans of Lauren’s particular brand of classic Americana fear not — he may have given up control of the business operations of his company, but he is still staying on as lead designer, ready to dress you for many years to come.