2018’s Biggest Fashion Stories

Goodbye 2018 and hello 2019! It’s over and out for another year in fashion, which typically has run the gamut of incoming and outgoing creative directors, micro trends and global trends, new names to know, and power moves that have shaken up the industry once more. Here, we look back at 2018 month by month to recall the biggest stories of the year and the headlines that hit us hardest. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Celine Spring/Summer 2019 show in Paris. Photo by Alessandro Garofalo for NOWFASHION.

The fashion world started the year knowing that Phoebe Philo had left her post as creative director at Paris house Celine, announced on December 22, which prompted a frenzy of fan mourning. Philo had been at the house for 10 years and had been responsible for a clinical-meets-intelligent sort of dressing that found favour with an art-fashion crowd. It didn’t take long before the rumor mill sprang into action as to who would be taking over – news which came on January 21. Hedi Slimane, the man that made Saint Laurent great, contentious and cult, would be tasked with the job. 


Queen Elizabeth II and Anna Wintour at the Richard Quinn Fall/Winter 2018 show in London. Photo by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION.

It’s not every young designer that finds a royal among their front row but that’s exactly what happened for Richard Quinn. The Central Saint Martins alumnus surprise scooped (because no one knew it was going to happen at all!) the inaugural Queen II award for British Fashion, which meant that the equally surprise appearance of Queen II herself, who sat front row next to American Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. Quinn, who had previously found himself at the centre of a debate with social media critics Diet Prada, was once again in the spotlight – but this time for much more preferable reasons. 


Clare Waight Keller at the end of the Givenchy Fall/Winter 2018 Couture show in Paris. Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION.

Hubert de Givenchy, the designer best-known for dressing Audrey Hepburn both in film and real life, passed away aged 91, leaving behind him a legacy of elegance and sophistication that had been recently rekindled under the appointment of Clare Waight Keller.


BOTTER menswear show at the 33rd edition of the Festival d'Hyères. Photos: Courtesy of PR.

The annual Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography brought two new names to our attention…Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh, the Antwerp-based duo who were awarded the Premiere Vision Grand Prize. But that’s not the only thing they ended up winning… more on that later…


Sketches of Meghan Markle's wedding dress by Clare Waight Keller. Photo: Courtesy of Givenchy.

Meghan Markle chose to wear Givenchy by Clare Waight Keller for her wedding to Prince Harry on May 19. The fashion world eagerly awaited the grand reveal of the dress which, elegant and sleek, compounded Waight Keller’s crowd-pleasing aesthetic, and the year, as pretty much belonging to her. 


Virgil Abloh at the Louis Vuitton menswear Spring/Summer 2019 show in Paris. Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION.

Following the announcements that Virgil Abloh was taking the helm of Louis Vuitton menswear and Kim Jones at Dior menswear, the June shows turned out to be quite a lot more exciting than usual. Abloh went for a tech utility vibe with some Wizard of Oz motifs thrown in, while Jones went romantic, serene, and set the scene for a renewed tailoring movement in menswear. He also did saddle bags for the boys. 


Sonia Rykiel L'Atelier Collection Fall/Winter 2018 Couture show in Paris. Photo by Amandine Hui-Boissy for NOWFASHION.

Fifty years after the legendary Paris brand was founded, Sonia Rykiel made its couture debut under the leadership of Julie de Libran in a flamboyant, sexy, and suitable tribute to the late designer who was known for her joie de vivre designs. 


Guillaume Henry at the Nina Ricci Spring/Summer 2018 show in Paris. Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION.

Following the fashion week rumours that Guillaume Henry was to be ousted from Nina Ricci after three and a half years, which he was in March 2018, it was announced that Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh, who had won the Hyères Grand Prize back in April, would take the helm. No sign of any collections yet… so hold tight for 2019. 


Donatella Versace at the Versace Spring/Summer 2018 show in Milan. Photo by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION.

The big news was that Michael Kors bought Versace. In a $2.1 billion deal, the American brand moved closer to its ambition of becoming a conglomerate in league with LVMH and Kering. Donatella will remain at the house in her role as creative director. 


Burberry Spring/Summer 2019 show in London. Photo by Alessandro Garofalo for NOWFASHION.

There was only one show anyone wanted to be at (and complain about). Hedi Slimane’s debut for Celine. The most anticipated show of the year, it was an awesome debut, but of course brought with it its fair share of controversy for old-school Celine fans who were still in mourning. Meanwhile, earlier during fashion month, Riccardo Tisci had made his all-inclusive debut at Burberry, replacing former creative director Christopher Bailey. 


Marc Jacobs' Redux Grunge 1993/2018 collection. Photo: Courtesy of Marc Jacobs.

Grunge was back and the man that brought it to us the first time round – in 1993 – was back behind the wheel to make it even cooler than before. In a nostalgic move cementing our ongoing obsession with the 90s, Marc Jacobs re-issued his famous grunge collection, the one that, originally, had got him fired from Perry Ellis but would go on to paint his name in the pages of fashion’s history books. 


Andreas Kronthaler and Vivienne Westwood at their Spring/Summer 2019 show in Paris. Photo by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION.

As the year wound down and it was still worryingly warm outside, the matter of climate change moved from a back-of-the-mind thought to a very real prospect and one that designers were taking very seriously. Vivienne Westwood won a special Positive Change award at the British Fashion Awards, while the environmental organisation Parley for the Oceans scooped an award for Recognition for Innovation. Finally, environmental and sustainable fashion was a real thing at the core of design fueling the mindset of the fashion world as they headed into a new year.