Donna Karan It’s been a banner year for Donna Karan. Celebrating her label’s 25th anniversary, she rang it in with back-to-back collections that announced that, a quarter of a century into it, Karan is at the top of her game. Between spring’s placid, soft-hued affair and fall’s chic “Forever Black” collection, Karan spanned the breadth of her range without ever straying from her charter tenet: Address the needs of the modern, urban woman. The idea that originated in 1984 with those Seven Easy Pieces has remained Karan’s constant design mantra, affording her a lasting career, a successful secondary collection in DKNY, ownership by the biggest luxury conglomerate in the world and, perhaps best of all, an inspirational second home in Parrot Cay. Along the way, her state of mind has expanded to include more philosophical ventures, such as yoga, humanitarianism and the pursuit of Zen in general. And if effortless dressing is a pet cause, so is enlightening customers through her Urban Zen initiative and the industry through her constant campaign for the same-season deliveries that would exist in an ideal world. — Jessica IredaleNext: Alexander Wang >>Alexander Wang The past year has been very good to Alexander Wang. Most notable, of course, is his 2009 CFDA win for emerging women’s wear designer; this time, he’s nominated for both Womenswear Designer of the Year as well as the Swarovski Award for accessories. But he also racked up the Swiss Textiles Award last November — and the $150,000 that goes with it — while pushing a series of launches into eyewear (with Linda Farrow), men’s wear, e-commerce and advertising with his first ad campaign, which launched on the streets of downtown Manhattan this year. In March, the designer also revamped his T label into a full lifestyle collection. Wang has been going full tilt on the runway, too. The last two collections flaunted a new side of the 26-year-old: more polished, structured and streamlined than ever. “I wanted to expand my language,” Wang explained before spring’s American sportswear extravaganza. “After you’ve seen your designs trickle down, you feel like it’s time to move on. You don’t want to get stuck in a corner.” For fall, Wang, again working with stylist Karl Templer, sent out another high-voltage presentation — this time working a Gothromantic- meets-men’s wear vibe. Throughout, the designer continued to deliver accessories — the category counts for one-third of his business. Case in point: During a trunk show last October, Barneys New York sold out of his spring handbags in one day on preorders alone. — Venessa LauNext: Marc Jacobs >>Marc Jacobs The CFDA ballot is familiar territory for Marc Jacobs, a perennial nominee who last year went home with the International Award for his work at Louis Vuitton after four years of empty-handedness. Since then, he once again delivered two spellbinding collections that garnered dual nominations for women’s wear and accessories design, all the while keeping the Louis Vuitton and Marc by Marc Jacobs machinery moving at a breakneck pace. From a stylistic standpoint, Jacobs’ spring and fall lineups could not have been more opposite: the former, a fantastical mash-up of military-meets-Pierrot-meets–geisha girls that marched out rather rebelliously on flats (“Not a single high-heel,” Jacobs said at the time); the latter, a quiet beauty anchored in conservative camels and grays, sturdy coats and cashmere knits that were anything but mundane. Accessories, too, spanned the spectrum between spring’s bohemian bounty of fringed and tasseled bags, fanny packs and scrunchies and fall’s ultraluxe quirky classics. Yet, as polarized as they were, both collections were pure Jacobs, delivered with the signature tailored style, the slight Seventies bent, the constant surprise on and off the runway (deliberate exclusion of celebrities, the most recent example) that make his show the hottest ticket in town — with or without awards. — J.I.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast