When it comes to the standout ad campaigns of 2016, it was all about strength in numbers. For spring, Alexander Wang tapped photographer Steven Klein to capture the daily lives of his #WangSquad around Manhattan and Brooklyn — a crew that includes Lexi Boling, Anna Ewers, Molly Bair, Kaia Gerber, Travis Scott, Binx Walton and many more — resulting in a candid, unique project complete with over 100 images that were rolled out over several weeks. Miuccia Prada, known for discovering new faces for her runway shows each season, went big with her fall campaign, too, casting 27 models to star in the colorful photos by Steven Meisel.
Balmain's Olivier Rousteing called upon his "army" of '90s supermodels for an unforgettable spring shoot; the team at Calvin Klein assembled 27 of the most legendary names in modeling, music and film (they even brought Frank Ocean out of hiding!) for the label's social media-fueled #MyCalvins fall campaign; Alessandro Michele let his hip crew of Gucci kids loose on the streets of Berlin for spring (and, later, in Tokyo for fall); Marc Jacobs captured a cast of diverse characters who inspire him; and Stuart Vevers introduced the world to his cool, New York girl gang for fall, posing with the city skyline as a backdrop.
While it's certainly helpful to have an influential gang/squad/family/army at your disposal, it is not the only key to a successful ad campaign. For fall, we were introduced to Demna Gvasalia's vision for Balenciaga in a series of minimal, raw images shot by Mark Borthwick on the streets of Paris. In addition, both Chanel and Céline went the artsy route, incorporating elements of collage and pop art in their campaigns, while Louis Vuitton's Nicolas Ghesquière turned heads when he cast Lightning, a "Final Fantasy" character, in the French house's spring campaign — as well as when he dressed well-known celebrity offspring Jaden Smith in a skirt.
From the dozens of fashion campaigns that were released each season, we narrowed the pool down to our 13 favorites of the year, which you can browse in the gallery below. Enjoy!