2018 was a year of musical chairs for many fashion brands and their designers. While this could be confusing initially, everyone involved is a beneficiary—including you, the shopaholic.
When a designer moves to another house, they’ll bring along hints of their design ethos, and the merger of two worlds will oftentimes birth a new style that will appeal to customers both old and new. Also along for the ride are their cult-like fanbases. Think Hedi Slimane moving to Celine, or Riccardo Tisci to Burberry.
Now that most of these designers have already put their first collections on preview, you can expect the racks to be stocked with their designs really soon. To help you get acquainted with the biggest moves in the fashion industry, here are the six menswear designers that will shape your wardrobe come 2019.
01: Kim Jones at Dior Men’s
The former artistic director for Louis Vuitton’s mens collections has moved on to helm Dior Men’s, and with it, he brings the savoir-faire of high-luxury streetwear to a storied French couture house.
So far he has already shown two collections (Spring 2019 and Pre-fall 2019), both of which were met with much fanfare. You can already shop the pieces from the collaboration with artist KAWS, who designed the giant effigy of Christian Dior during Jones’ debut show. If you’re after clothes that are more edgy and futuristic, you’d have to wait till later in the year when his pre-fall collection enters the stores. One item you’ll see us carrying next year: the Dior Saddle bag for men.
02: Kris van Assche at Berluti
The Belgian designer spent 11 years as the artistic director of Dior Homme before moving on to another LVMH-owned brand, Berluti. Your impression of Berluti might be that of a traditionally classic brand with exceptional craftsmanship. Now, under the direction of van Assche, it is undergoing a renaissance of sorts as it seeks to attract a younger crowd.
Known already for his impeccable suiting at Dior Homme, it was a seamless transition for van Assche. During a preview of his upcoming Spring/Summer 2019 collection, we saw his trademark silhouette fuse with the heritage-rich luxury of Berluti. The lapel of a white tuxedo featured the Scritto motif, an emblem of the brand. It’s in the little details like this that make each and every item that much more coveted.
Accessories also weren’t forgotten, seeing as they are what made Berluti Berluti in the first place. The patina was given an update in the “reverse patina,” and it was applied onto leather shoes and bags. In a move that doesn’t shock anyone, van Assche also introduced his version of the chunky dad shoe in a variety of colours.
03: Hedi Slimane at Celine
Hedi Slimane knows how to make an entrance. First he dropped the “Yves” during his tenure at Saint Laurent. When he took over at Celine earlier in September, he conveniently dropped the accented É for a simpler typeface logo. Cue the emergence of all the angry Philophites. But if Slimane could double the revenue for Saint Laurent in his first three years, surely his arrival brings good tidings for the brand?
Case in point: Celine wasn’t a brand often uttered by men’s magazines, simply because it hasn’t offered anything men could wear—until now. For the first time in Celine’s storied 73-year-old history, Slimane showed an equal number of menswear outfits as the womenswear. 48 looks, to be exact. A first look at the menswear collection invoked a throwback moment to Slimane’s own Dior Homme days where the men were ultra-skinny. But let’s be real: no one does a skinny suit better than Hedi Slimane.
(Photo: PARIS LA NUIT/JOURNAL NOCTURE DE LA JEUNESSE PARISIENNE/CELINE SUMMER 19 MEN’S COLLECTION CAMPAIGN/PHOTOGRAPHED IN LONDON OCTOBER 2018)
04: Riccardo Tisci at Burberry
When Christopher Bailey bowed out at Burberry last year after 17 years, it marked an end of an era for the quintessentially British label. His successor would have had big shoes to fill. Fortunately, the man for the job happens to be Riccardo Tisci, the man who turned Givenchy from a sophisticated French house into the high-street dominator it is today.
Soon after his appointment as Burberry’s Chief Creative Officer, he enlisted the help of graphic artist Peter Saville for a new interpretation of the logo and monogram. You might have seen it plastered over hundreds of billboards from Shanghai to London. Then came his first collection.
Thankfully Tisci didn’t wipe the slate clean for the brand, and instead tastefully combined both Burberry’s heritage plaids, checks, and tailoring with the slightly gothic, moody look that he introduced to Givenchy. If you’re after the Tisci-era collection, the clothes will drop in stores come February 2019.
05: Daniel Lee at Bottega Veneta
When Phoebe Philo left Celine, many of her fans were left in limbo waiting for a designer of similar ethos to come out of the woodwork to satiate their credit cards. Six months later, a surprising announcement from Bottega Veneta dropped: Daniel Lee would be their new creative director. Not much was known about Lee prior to his appointment, but everyone was clamouring over one listing in his CV: he had been Celine’s director of ready-to-wear during Philo’s tenure.
His first collection for Bottega Veneta has arrived, and the Phoebe Philo-shaped hole in our hearts has been filled. The clothes eschew the zeitgeist of today and instead chart their own route in the uber-luxe world of Bottega Veneta customers. Logomania is out, and the marriage of French/British style (Lee is a Brit) and Italian construction takes front and centre stage.
06: Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton Men
In 2018, the name Virgil Abloh didn’t just refer to a designer. It was one of the fashion flock’s most sought-after commodity. His collaborations with LVMH brands Moet & Chandon and Rimowa, amongst others, cemented his status as the “King of Collab”. So it wasn’t surprising when he was tapped to be Kim Jones’ successor as Louis Vuitton’s artistic director for menswear.
His debut collection for the SS19 season was highly inspired by the Wizard of Oz, and what caught our eye the most were the accessories. After all, they are the essence of Louis Vuitton. Classics like the Monogram Keepall Bandouliere and Petite Malle were given the Virgil treatment, with the former now coming in various styles (we’re eyeing the iridescent, transparent one) and the latter sporting chain-link straps in a delectable orange hue.
We’re expecting this collection to sell out faster than your supercar can get you to the nearest LV boutique, so make sure your orders are placed well ahead of the drop.