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A year in fashion: the best and worst of 2012

EDITD examines the best-selling trends of the year, the top designers and the biggest digital wins. And what were the year's flops? Discover all with the 2012 review.
A year in fashion: the best and worst of 2012 | EDITED
  • A year in fashion: the best and worst of 2012 | EDITED
  • A year in fashion: the best and worst of 2012 | EDITED
  • A year in fashion: the best and worst of 2012 | EDITED
  • A year in fashion: the best and worst of 2012 | EDITED
  • A year in fashion: the best and worst of 2012 | EDITED

So that was 2012? Blink and you’ve missed it! We’re remaining optimistic that the end of the Mayan calendar on Friday won’t bring about armageddon, and are busy compiling our 2013 top tips, which will be ready & waiting at your desk after the holidays (follow us at @EDITD and we’ll let you know as soon as they go live). In the meantime, let’s recap the big 12 hits and misses from 2012.

The year’s Hits:

1. Retail Superstar
Topshop, we salute you. What a year it has been for the UK-based retailer – their inspirational digital creations during September’s Unique show  far exceeded expectations, as 2 million viewers worldwide watched, and customised, the streamed catwalk. If that wasn’t achievement enough, this year they’ve also landed on South African shores, gone viral with their Kate Bosworth Christmas ad, struck a distribution deal with Nordstrom and now with the sale of Sir Philip Green’s 25% stake to fund further overseas expansion, these guys are the ones to watch.

2. Model Moments
If 2012 had a face, it’d be Cara Delevingne’s. We’re hoping there’s a cosy sofa and Slanket with her name on it for the festive break, if anyone has been everywhere, done everything in 2012, it’s this girl. She scooped model of the year, found her way onto all the biggest fashion week shows, set the online world alight with a Harry Styles rumoured romance and given the beanie an overhaul. During London Fashion Week, Cara received 1,982 online mentions from fashion’s influencers, securing her place for 2013.

3. A Stella Performance
If Topshop take the retail prize, the brand award has to go to Stella McCartney. She’s the year’s most-Googled fashion label and no surprise given her medal-worthy Olympic work for Adidas, launching a new lingerie line, opening a flagship in Miami and returning to the London Fashion Week schedule. Online mentions towards the designer reached a yearly high mid-March when her Olympic designs were unveiled. Eyes peeled for Stella’s next play, because if this year has taught us anything, it’s that it will be the right move.

4. Designer Musical Chairs
It’s been a killer year for updating your Linkedin profile if you are a luxury designer. The biggest moves came from Raf Simons, Hedi Slimane and Alexander Wang. Dior and Yves Saint Laurent were pitched against one another, but it was the end-of-year news of Wang filling Nicholas Ghesquiere’s shoes at Balenciaga which attracted the biggest online buzz. Other notable reshuffles and departures came from Christopher Kane’s exiting Versus, Stefano Pilati’s move to Ermenegildo Zegna and Jil Sander’s return to, er, Jil Sander.

5. Super sellers
The year’s runaway trend success has been the ubiquitous peplum, having seen backing from every level of the industry. Our commercial database detected 9,529 peplumed products retailing online this year, of which 35% sold out with no discounting. Other successes come in the form of body-con dresses (2,600 products, of which 39% sold out at full price) and ASOS’s best-selling garment of the year, the onesie (553 online products, with 58% selling out full priced). While they may by now be on everyone’s radar, these three will continue to shift units well into 2013.

6. Foreign Exchange
As each year passes in a blur of technological advances, country borders are dropping and brands and retailers are conquering customers on a global scale. Aside from Topshop‘s forays into South Africa, this year has seen international openings from Victoria’s Secret (London) and announcements of intentions from Uniqlo (Australia), Agent Provocateur (Australia), Topshop (Hong Kong) and J.Crew (London).

And then there’s the Misses….

7. Aquascutum Expires
In August we blogged about the sad demise of British luxury brand Aquascutum. An unfortunate combination of wrong products, price points and not being speedy enough to adapt to digital saw the much-respected house sink this year. A stark warning to the rest of the luxury industry to get clued-up.

8. Angelina’s leg
The talk of February’s Oscars wasn’t Angelina Jolie in her Atelier Versace gown, moreover it was her right leg out of her Atelier Versace gown. The actresses’ awkward stance throughout the evening looked over-rehearsed and swiftly went viral, with leg bombing and photoshopped images being shared worldwide. Fail.

9. Sinking Feeling
Following the AW12/13 shows in February, the press touted aquatic/underwater themes as the hot new trend for the season ahead. It’s true that Versace, Alexander McQueen and Holly Fulton had sent out deep sea themed clobber, but the trend never set sail. Why? Because consumers just weren’t that interested. Our AW12/13 reviews ignore press opinion and instead judge consumer hype, which is why our customers get it right!

10. YSL Rebranding
In June, Yves Saint Laurent‘s controversial announcement that they were changing their name to Saint Laurent Paris was met with surprise and intrigue. Which quickly turned to confusion. The new branding was intended only for the womenswear line, but why fracture a clear brand image with a solid history? The press backlash was powerful, most notably from Business of Fashion.

11. Olympics Shortfall
The British high street got excited about London’s hosting of the Games and latched onto the idea it would not only raise spirits, but also profits in the gloomy economy. No such luck. Whilst food and drink saw a slight boost from the event, fashion retail had a bleak summer. Retailers have proceeded with caution for the remainder of the year and sales started early.

12. Rihanna’s 777 tour
Oh Rih Rih, you were doing so well. That whole crop top thing? That was ace. There was no need to try and pull off a publicity stunt like 777. Seven countries, in seven nights with 252 journos and fans in a chartered 777 was a recipe for PR disaster as the performer’s behaviour ruffled influential on-board feathers. Still, the album went to No.1 in the US the morning it was released. You got away with it this time Rihanna, but just remember, you’re not the Only Girl (In the World), nor will it revolve around you forever.

So, over and out for 2012. Wishing all blog readers a very happy holidays, thank you for your continued support this year! We’ll see you right back here in the new year. In the meantime: