Annual evaluate: Prime 10 style tales of 2021


A lot happened in 2021 amid the ever-evolving pandemic. From the jubilant return of some of our favorite personal events, to the statement outfit Kamala Harris wore on her historic inauguration, to the devastating losses of some of the fashion companies’ greatest talents. Now is the time to look back on all of the top fashion stories of 2021 that got us all sentiment this year.

In January Harris made history when she was sworn in as the first black, first Asian, and first female vice president. She continued her trend of wearing black designers with a regal looking purple coat and dress by Christopher John Rogers.

With recommendations for face-to-face meetings in New York City changing almost by the minute, we weren’t sure what New York Fashion Week or the Met Gala would be like this year. Both returned with a bang in September, giving us a temporary sense of normalcy in an uncertain world.

Other headlines include Fashion Month Spring 2022, which is the most racially diverse season of all time. Two of the biggest brands (namely Fendi and Versace) swap their creative directors for an unforgettable moment in Milan. Plus, the Asian fashion community is gathering for #StopAsianHate amid the mounting violence during the pandemic.

Read on to see the top 2021 fashion stories we still talk about.

  • Kamala Harris’ housewarming outfit sends a message

    For her historic inauguration in January, Kamala Harris chose a purple coat and dress by designer Christopher John Rogers, which she adorned with a David Yurman American flag pin. The purple hue symbolized unity as it is a combination of red and blue, the two colors that represent America’s major political parties. Purple was also a nod to Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to be elected to Congress and running for president in 1972.

    Image: Joe Raedle / Getty Images

  • #StopAsianHate

    Unfortunately, there was a surge in anti-Asian sentiment and violence against the AAPI community during the pandemic. Phillip Lim, Eva Chen, Michelle Lee and Tina Craig were among those who used their platforms to raise awareness and share resources for #StopAsianHate. Their efforts helped raise millions of dollars for grassroots AAPI organizations.

    PICTURED: MARK FELIX / AFP / AFP via Getty Images

  • Kerby Jean-Raymond makes history

    In 2020, racial injustice and the Black Lives Matter movement were in the spotlight. This year there was a big impact in the fashion industry, with more diverse model castings during Fashion Weeks and an increase in diversity on the covers of magazines. In addition, Pyer Moss founder Kerby Jean-Raymond made history as the first black American fashion designer to exhibit at the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week. His first haute couture collection paid homage to black inventions, including hot reels, chess boards and refrigerators.

    Image: Cindy Ord / WireImage / Getty Images

  • New York Fashion Week is making a glorious return

    In September, New York Fashion Week returned for the first mostly personal fashion week since the pandemic began. The mood at the shows in spring 2022 was positive, even if after such a long isolation there was a certain uneasiness to gather in a large group. Many designers nodded to New York City in their shows. Peter Do made his debut show in a drive-in theater in Brooklyn while LaQuan Smith hosted his catwalk show on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building.

    Image: Imaxtree

  • The Met Gala celebrates American designers

    Like New York Fashion Week, the Met Gala returned as a personal event in September. The theme of this year’s gala was “America: A Lexicon of Fashion”. Fittingly, many stars wore American designers. Jennifer Lopez stunned in a 70s-inspired Ralph Lauren Collection number, Kate Hudson was pretty in a pink Michael Kors Collection dress and Amanda Gorman stunned in a royal blue bespoke Vera Wang dress.

    Image: Theo Wargo / Getty Images

  • Fendi and Versace team up

    One of the most exciting moments of Milan Fashion Week was the collaboration between Versace and Fendi, which concluded the shows in Italy in the spring of 2022. The two fashion houses swapped creative directors with Donatella Versace, who designed a collection for Fendi, and Kim Jones, who designed one for Versace. As if that wasn’t enough, models included Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Gigi Hadid.

    Image: Imaxtree

  • Fashion becomes meta

    One of the biggest stories in 2021 was when Facebook was renamed Meta in October. The company claims the “Metaverse” will enable people “to socialize, learn, collaborate and play in ways that are beyond what we can imagine”. The metaverse includes things like virtual reality, augmented reality, and smart glasses. Some brands have already started expanding into the Metaverse through virtual stores, digital events and games. The foray of fashion into the metaverse is only likely to pick up in 2022.


  • Spring 2022 was the most racially diverse season of the year

    Fortunately, the return of personal catwalk shows brought with it an increase in the variety of models. As we reported in October, the spring of 2022 made history as the most racially diverse season of all time, with 48 percent of the castings going to color models. Almost five points more than last season. We hope this upward trend in diversity will continue into the next season.

    Image: Imaxtree

  • Daniel Lee leaves Bottega Veneta

    We were shocked when Bottega Veneta announced in November that it was going to split from Creative Director Daniel Lee, especially since the news came just weeks after his latest collection. Lee is credited with bringing a much-needed dose of contemporary cool to the brand. Shortly after the surprise announcement, we learned that Lee would be replaced by Matthieu Blazy, who was already the brand’s design director. It is still unclear what led to Lee’s departure.

    Image: Imaxtree

  • In memory

    In November, Virgil Abloh, the 41-year-old founder and designer of Off-White and director of menswear at Louis Vuitton, died after a private two-year battle with cancer. Abloh was a legend in the making. Not only did he bring streetwear to the mainstream, he was one of the first black designers to take the reins of a major fashion house. Other notable losses include the famous Tiffany & Co. jewelry designer Elsa Peretti, who died at the age of 80, and the legendary Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz, who died unexpectedly of Covid-19 at the age of 59.

    Image: Imaxtree

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