The GQ Fashion Awards: The Designers, Collabs and More That Energized 2022
BIG FASHION ENERGY that defined 2022
Anthony and I are sitting in his office, located in a 17th-century hotel Particulier in Paris. Today is quiet so you can't hear his French bulldog snoring in the room next to him. There is a black desk, a few Pierre Jeanneret chairs, and a small daybed in Vaccarello's office. He sips from a small glass of water. It's very chic.
The man who took over as the brand's sixth creative steward is settled in. The brand's revenues have exploded under his design, artistic, and image direction Menswear has been a growing part of the business.
He notes that he has achieved an expansion without thinking about numbers, or paying attention to what is selling or not. He thinks that fashion became too commercial. Being commercial is not a bad thing. If you can sell and have a real style, that is bingo for me.
Anthony Vaccarello avoided big marketing stunts of the kind we have come to expect from large luxury houses
When I was a student at school, the brands were so different and fresh that I still have that idea. It's all about doing the next collaboration. I don't like it He finds it boring.
Instead of creating fashion that is boring, Vaccarello creates fashion that is moving. In the middle of the Agafay Desert, a dusty, hour-plus ride outside of Marrakech, he staged his spring 2023 men's fashion show. Among those in attendance were talented people, like Steve Lacy and Dominic Fike, as well as dozens of other beautiful creatures, who wore fulsome, flowy trousers, and at least one dark cape. A group of slender models emerged from the mist. The first person wore a tuxedo and sandals. A person wore a silky white shirt with a plunging neckline and long black trousers. Another wore a large faux-fur duster coat, which grazed the tops of the high heels.
Men's fashion is going through a full-blown identity crisis, with many designers confused as to what their customers want or who they are. Vaccarello responded with clarity of vision and a deep sense of urgency. The clothes he presented spoke of pleasure and sensuality. Men's clothing makes them feel good. He established the validity of his men's line.
The Fashion collaboration of the year
A hot sneaker collab can be knocked out by almost any person. Multiple full-scale fashion collaborations with murderers' row of the most vital designers on the planet? Only adidas. There were three stripes on the Milan runway in February of this year. When the New York Stock Exchange was taken over by Demna, the stripes adorned ankle-length windbreakers.
The Adidas tracksuits and thigh-baring soccer shorts were created by Grace Wales Bonner. The old Adidas windbreaker and shell pants were rejuvenated by Prada. Adidas didn't disappear into the background of another brand's aesthetic. It signal-boosted each vision.
The look of the year. Armani's return to elegance. Giorgio Armani has been at the forefront of formal dressing for a long time. Menswear hasn't been the same since he took the edges off. As we look to restore elegance to our wardrobe, Armani once again had the answer. Something we have been missing was unlocked by look number 51. Mr. Armani gives an explanation in his own words.
The collection is made up of classics with subtle design details. The way in which these are combined is quietly different. At the moment, we need a wardrobe that is credible and reassuring but still offers interest and character, because everything looks familiar and new at the same time.
I wanted a summer feel, a sense of freedom. The proportions of the shirt and trousers were used to achieve this. The tie and the fact that the look is not remotely exaggerated are signs of refinement.
One seat in fashion's game of musical chairs looked like a throne during a big year for new designer appointments. The new creative director of Supreme was announced in February. It was a big deal for those keeping track of the fashion world. After spending years working at every level of the business, starting in a retail position at J. Crew, making his way up the ranks, and then helping to whims, Emory had established himself as a whisperer of fashion high and low.
He worked on the margins of fashion, too, with Frank Ocean, and he and Clyde set the global nightlife scene ablaze as half of No Vacancy Inn. The plight and glory of the African American experience were one of the reasons he founded his own socially conscious clothing brand. His cotton wreath-printed Levi's and Marcus Garvey Pan-African-flag-striped Converse are similar to box logo t-shirts. His hire at Supreme felt like the end of a loop: A brand that has been heavily influenced by Black culture since the beginning, centering Black artists and skaters in many of its collaborations and campaigns, was being led by a black man for the first time.
A brand that will soon turn 30 will be helped by the appointment of Emory. With newish corporate owners and a mandate to grow, Supreme has a difficult task ahead of it while balancing on the bleeding edge of relevancy. You would be wise to bet on the guy who can figure that out is the one who is Emory. Is he going to reign long?
The Linea Rossa sailing team wore the Prada PS0906, a techy performance sneaker, at the 1997 America's Cup, and 25 years later they still wear it. Sneakerheads and fashion freaks alike fell in love with the shoe's panels of mesh and leather. The Prada America's Cup has been a staple of the label's footwear lineup ever since. The Prada America's Cup helped birth the luxury sneaker market, but it's the OGs that look fresh now.
While his fellow Hollywood Chrises are stuck in generic leading man uniforms, Pine has pushed ahead of the pack by letting his hair flow and his freak flag fly. In July, he set the internet ablaze by wearing a look best described as Coastal French Art Grandpa: a t-shirt with stripes, trousers, and shoes. He wore a floral shirt and pants on the talk show circuit, wore techy gym wear with weird shoes on the streets of LA, and dominated red carpets around the world. Pine knows that being a movie star allows you to live large, dress larger, and be eccentric.
The color-as-branding experiment was a huge success. You couldn't throw a rock stud shoe without hitting a celebrity in a PP fit. You have to go deeper than the surface to see color. You can see who the people wearing that pink are and not what they represent. I am tired of being told what I don't know.
Fashion took on an entirely new significance this year. The return of intercontinental travel was met with "armageddon" as airlines couldn't keep up with demand. The compact and efficient carry-on is the only safe way to travel abroad because checked baggage seems to be disappearing at alarming rates. Rimowa rose to the occasion, not just as maker of the world's premier carry-on luggage, but also on the strength of a slew of new colorways and collaborations. The packing light has never been cooler.
You can watch the year.
The first-ever collaboration between Swatch and Omega was one of the most anticipated releases of the year. The lines to purchase the $260 watch at Swatch stores were blushed by executives at Nike and Supreme. Each of the 11 selections was designed with reference to the key features of our solar system. Many Swatch stores were forced to close early on release day due to the large crowd. These days, collaboration is worth the buzz. The partnership makes the Omega Speedmaster accessible to the kid who might otherwise have purchased a pair of sneakers at the same price. Swatch gave the Speedmaster a world of candy colors. Nick Hayek is the CEO of the Swatch Group. The MoonSwatch is a sign of more to come, as great watches can feel out of reach.
In February of this year, Los Angeles got the flagship store it deserved when the doors of the Bode store opened on a sleepy stretch of Melrose Ave. The former furniture gallery has been turned into a natural history museum by the Green River Project, co-founded by Emily and Aujla. Shopping for a pair of needlepoint-embroidered trousers feels like an act of discovery. It has been a blessing for Angelenos who have been clearing the shelves.
Two years of sequestering at home sent demand for Crocs and Birkenstocks surging, and now an eclectic mix of designers are cranking out mules. Martine Rose introduced a squared-off, snakeskin-embossed version with silver-tone detailing, Marni dropped a slew of calfskin joints, and Our Legacy lopped the back off its smash-hit boot. It didn't take long for the dress mule to replace its cushier counterparts as the shoe of choice for style-minded Joes and celebrities. The dress mule is the only shoe worthy of the crown because of it's unique ability to meet the strangeness of the moment.
Tennis has always been stylish, but the sport's influence on fashion has never been more pervasive. A group of people wearing polos and vests walked down the runway. Casablanca and Palmes are two rising labels that have built their identities on the game's aesthetic. The pro game felt as hot as ever thanks to the US Open and Serena's farewell. You can't go two blocks without running into someone wearing a skirt or a tracksuit.