What's in store for top designers in 2023
After two years marked by the pandemic, 2022 was a transition year for many luxury labels, which in several cases appointed new creative directors. Notably, the year ended bidding farewell to Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s star designer for the last seven years. An emblematic departure, heralding a profound change within Kering’s flagship brand, but also a new chapter for the fashion world, which appears to be in the process of reorganising itself in this post-Covid phase, as this overview shows.
The new year promises to be rich in discoveries, but also surprises. At the beginning of January, British designer Louise Trotter announced she was leaving Lacoste after four years of distinguished and loyal service. The French sportswear label will now rely on a “collaborative studio” consisting of several designers.
Another revolution took place at Burberry, which dismissed Riccardo Tisci last September to replace him with Daniel Lee. The former Bottega Veneta designer is expected to unveil his first collection for the venerable English label on February 20. Undoubtedly, it will be one of the highlights of the Fall/Winter 2023-24 season.
As for Gucci, the Italian luxury label has not yet chosen a successor to Michele. Its new menswear collection will be scrutinised closely, all the more so since Gucci will be opening Milan's Men's Fashion Week on Friday January 13, making its come-back on the menswear runways after three years.
Rumours abound as to who will be Gucci’s new creative director. The label could for example resort to an internal designer, testing them with this first show. Remo Macco, who has been with the label a long time and was recently appointed to the new position of studio director, is one of the names making the rounds, alongside Marco Maria Lombardi, design director for women’s ready-to-wear.
In men's fashion, it will be worth making a trip to Florence to discover the work of Jacopo Politi, who has been the new head of style at Borsalino for a few months. He will unveil his first collection for the famous Italian hat-maker this week, at the Pitti Uomo show.
In Milan, Etro's new creative director, Marco De Vincenzo, will show on Sunday January 15 his first men’s collection for the Milanese label, after a maiden appearance with womenswear in September. De Vincenzo took charge of style at Etro last spring, and his work is being closely monitored. Italian luxury menswear label Corneliani, currently in the midst of a rejuvenation phase, is also worth watching. Last season, Corneliani put British designer Paul Surridge in charge of style, and his work will be illustrated by a full-blown new collection at Milan Fashion Week.
In Paris, there have been no major changes on the designer front. The role of creative director for Louis Vuitton’s menswear remains vacant again this season, the collections having being developed by an internal design team since Virgil Abloh passed away in November 2021.
Major changes are instead to be expected for the women's fashion weeks in February, an opportunity for several labels to show where they are in their repositioning, after changing their creative director last year. Andrea Incontri at Benetton, Maximilian Davis at Ferragamo and Filippo Grazioli at Missoni will showcase their work for a second season in Milan, and Ibrahim Kamara will do so for Off-White in Paris.
In March, Paris Fashion Week Women will hail two major debuts. The first is that of young Anglo-American designer Harris Reed, who was recently named creative director of Parisian label Nina Ricci, owned by the Puig group. A rising runway star in London, Reed is renowned for his clear identity and gender-fluid creations, and this young prodigy's debut is highly anticipated.
The second debut will be that of French designer Ludovic de Saint Sernin at Ann Demeulemeester. The ready-to-wear label founded by the eponymous Belgian designer in 1985, acquired by Milanese businessman Claudio Antonioli, recently appointed the young French designer as its creative director. In the last five years, de Saint Sernin has made a name for himself on the Parisian runways with his sensual style and uninhibited eroticism.
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