2010: Alexander McQueen dies
The news that Alexander McQueen had died at the age of 40 shook the fashion world to its core. The British designer, considered one of the most wildly creative fashion designers of all time, created some of the most beautiful, daring and provocative designs to this day. — Kristin Larson
2010: Instagram launches
First there were blogs, and then there was Instagram. No one could have predicted the magnitude and influence Instagram would have on the fashion and beauty worlds. Instagram stars like Aimee Song used the social media platform to build their brand. According to Rakuten Marketing’s 2019 survey on influencer marketing, 80% of consumers revealed they made a purchase recommended by an influencer. — K.L.
2010: Lady Gaga wears a meat dress
Leave it to Lady Gaga to wear the first dress made out of raw meat. It didn’t spark any fashion trends (thank goodness!), but everyone remembers the dress — it even has its own Wikipedia page. Gaga turned out in the steak dress at the MTV Video Music Awards to make a political statement, urging the U.S. military not to discriminate against gay men and women. If you’d like to see the dress up close, the preserved version resides at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. — K.L.
2011: Ikram Goldman brings the high fashion world to Chicago Boutique owner Ikram Goldman. Boutique owner Ikram Goldman. (Ikram Goldman)
There are other emporiums of high fashion dotted around the world, but few — if any — compare to Ikram, the glossy red boutique in Chicago. After shuttering her first shop, Ikram Goldman, along with husband Josh, decided to go big, creating a 14,000-square-foot emporium of the new, the beautiful, the edgy. Goldman, now legendary in the international fashion world, culls the best, most interesting pieces for her devout following of clients. Entering the shop is like walking into a jewel box bursting with the creative output of fashion’s best, but the highlight is interacting with Goldman, herself, who brings her frank personality, a solid dose of levity and a lack of pretense to the all-too-often stuffy fashion world. — David Syrek
2015: Rihanna wows at the Met Gala
Talk about a fashion moment — Rihanna in that dramatic, over-the-top yellow cape gown by Chinese designer Guo Pei at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala catapulted her into fashion icon status. It had a 16-foot embroidered train, but all eyes were on Queen RiRi. “From “the moment when she walked in, late, and stole the show from virtually every celebrity in the known world, was truly a moment to behold.” said Kerry Pieri, fashion and features director at HarpersBazaar.com. — K.L.
2016: Women ascend the fashion throne — finally
For decades, there were only a handful women overseeing major European fashion houses. Then, Dior made fashion history by naming Maria Grazia Chiuri artistic director of the luxury house — the first female creative director in the French brand’s 70-year-history, and Givenchy followed suit, appointing Clare Waight Keller as artistic director. The designers join the ranks of other female designers overseeing fashion houses such as Natacha Ramsay-Levi at Chloe, Sarah Burton, at Alexander McQueen, and Virginie Viard, who succeeded Karl Lagerfeld, at Chanel. — K.L.
2017: Fenty Beauty: At last, makeup for all skin tones
Inclusivity hit the beauty world big time when Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty, which now offers 50 foundation shades. The “Fenty Effect” ensued and other brands followed. “People seeing that they are considered by brands, whether that be by having your skin tone available in makeup or via size inclusion is not frivolous, it’s good business,” Pieri says. — K.L.
2017: ‘Ugly’ sneaker mania takes over
The decade saw sneakers rise to the level of designer shoes, but who would ever think huge-soled, orthopedic-looking sneakers would be fashionable? The “ugly sneaker” may have started with Balenciaga’s Triple S and Louis Vuitton Archlight style, but the giant sneaker trend picked up speed and continued with designers like Gucci, Prada and Coach. — K.L.
2017: Athleisure is here to stay
Blame it on the rise in sportswear or celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Gigi Hadid rocking sweats, hoodies and leggings in their downtime, but athleisure shows no signs of slowing down. Activewear currently represents 24% of total apparel industry sales and is forecast to grow, according to a “Future of Apparel” study by NPD Group. — K.L.
2018: Chicago’s Virgil Abloh becomes men’s artistic director for Louis Vuitton
Designer Virgil Abloh had already gained a major following with his Off-White fashion label, but in spring 2018, things really got really serious when he ascended to the position of men’s artistic director for Louis Vuitton, the iconic French brand that represents the height of luxury. From the start, Abloh injected the storied fashion house with cool, youthful energy, showing fluid silhouettes — along with morphing the brand’s logo-emblazoned accessories into coveted, futuristic abstractions of their former selves. With the appointment, Abloh became Vuitton’s first black designer and one of only two black creative directors at a European luxury fashion house. — D.S.
2018: Meghan Markle steals the show
Call it the Meghan effect. Ever since the former Northwestern University student became the Duchess of Sussex, whatever fashion brands the royal wears benefit. Global fashion search engine Lyst proclaimed Markle the “most powerful dresser” of the year, with her outfits sparking on average a 216% increase in searches for similar pieces. For instance, the white-and-blue Club Monaco dress she wore in South Africa sold out in in less than 24 hours, following a 570% spike in searches. — K.L.
2019: Karl Lagerfeld dies
Part designer, part cultural superstar, Karl Lagerfeld was without a doubt the most prolific and influential fashion designer of a generation. As Chanel’s creative director for 36 years, the iconic designer with the white ponytail and black shades pushed the fabled fashion house into the future by continually reinterpreting the brand’s style. His collections were staged on epic sets; fall 2010 saw an astounding polar landscape anchored with a 265-ton iceberg made of snow imported from Sweden, and for spring 2019, Paris’ Grand Palais was transformed into a beach, complete with white sand and functioning waves. Through collections that blended the classic Chanel codes of tweed, pearls and quilting with elements of youth culture from goth to streetwear to surfer, Lagerfeld connected the brand with a new, younger audience, all the while challenging what luxury could be. — D.S.
2019: Fashion embraces women — all women — with size-inclusive fashion
The body positive movement is here to stay thanks to body positive icons like model Ashley Graham, singer Lizzo and social media influencer Katie Sturino, and for the first time, designers like Dolce & Gabbana, Tanya Taylor, Jason Wu and Christian Siriano expanded their size range, offering sizes up to 24. Online retailer 11 Honoré, the first retailer devoted to size-inclusive designer fashion, also made fashion history holding its first runway show at New York Fashion Week, showcasing models from sizes 12 to 20. It’s about time the fashion industry listened—the majority of U.S. women are a size 14 and above, according to Edited Retail Data. — K.L.
2019: Barneys New York: End of an era
The bankruptcy and closure of Barneys New York, the legendary retailer founded in 1923, proved no retailer is immune to the challenging retail climate. Its demise also raised questions about the future of retail, if the store known for promoting cutting-edge fashion from designers like Rick Owens, Loewe and Comme des Garcons could not survive. Still, Barneys, from its uber chic black shopping bags to its iconic “Route du Thé” fragrance to its iconic window displays, will be terribly missed. — K.L.
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