For the past couple of years, it is almost as if the fashion industry is playing a game of musical chairs. New creative directors and designers are appointed left and right, and we’re seeing continuous change that can be exhausting to keep up with. In a time where every single fashion brand is feeling the pressures of a saturated market, COVID-19 impacts and the continuous demand from consumers, finding time in the spotlight becomes increasingly hard. In a push to stay relevant, brands are beginning to listen to their audiences. A designer is no longer enough, what is needed now is a personality that can reinvent and resurrect a brand. Enter the Creative Director.
In the past year alone, we’ve seen announcements from some of the industry’s biggest names. 107 ALYX 9SM‘s Matthew Williams gets appointed at Givenchy, Kim Jones is going to Fendi, Raf Simons joins Miuccia Prada at Prada, Kerby Jean-Raymond is going to Reebok and today, Y/Project‘s Glenn Martens is taking over Diesel following Renzo Rosso’s 42-year reign. With every announcement, expectations become higher and consumers are no longer looking for just clothes to buy, they are looking for a designer and public figure to follow.
There’s no doubt that appointing a new creative director can bring a virtually dead brand back to life, just look at Daniel Lee at Bottega Veneta. The designer had previously been working behind-the-scenes at labels like Maison Margiela, Balenciaga and Donna Karan, and held the role as director of ready-to-wear design at Céline under Phoebe Philo. In 2018, Lee got appointed as the creative director of Bottega Veneta, and managed to take the brand from a snooze fest to arguably the most popular brand amongst fashion’s elite in less than a year. His signature dumpling-shaped The Pouch bag was scattered