Breaking Down the Biggest Fashion Stories of 2017 by the Numbers - Fashionista
A quantitative look at the launches, departures, hires, investments and moments that defined the industry this year.

There's yet to be a dull moment in the fashion industry this year, and with just two weeks left of 2017, we don't have high hopes that one will creep on over to our neck of the woods before January. But for the sake of what we at Fashionista do as a news site, that's a good thing. We're taking a macro look back at all the designer switch-ups, high-profile career moves, investments, media closures, buzzy brand moments and more industry happenings that have dominated the conversation — for better or worse — in the last 12 months. Read on for the big numbers that defined 2017.

Five American brands left New York Fashion Week to show in Paris

In the first half of the year, five American houses — Altuzarra, Thom Browne, Proenza Schouler, Rodarte and Monique Lhuillier — announced their decisions to leave New York Fashion Week to show in Paris. Rihanna's Fenty Puma, however, quit Paris for New York, which was inevitably one of NYFW's Spring 2018 highlights.

11 designers (and design duos) took on historic houses

It's become increasingly difficult to keep track of designer affiliations given the game of musical chairs they've been playing, and 2017 saw its fair share of major debuts. These have included Paul Surridge at Roberto Cavalli, Shayne Oliver at Helmut Lang, Natacha Ramsay-Levi at Chloé, Clare Waight Keller at Givenchy, Olivier Lapidus at Lanvin, Casey Cadwallader at Mugler, Lucie and Luke Meier at Jil Sander, Francesco Risso at Marni, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia at Oscar de la Renta, Paul Andrew (now heading up women's ready-to-wear, in addition to the footwear) at Salvatore Ferragamo and, most prominently, Raf Simons at Calvin Klein.

Nine media brands shuttered 

It was a tough year for media, with properties like Nylon, British Glamour and Teen Vogue all set to cease regular print publications, and others like Bullett Media and Style.com — the latter of which was sold off to and promptly closed by Farfetch — shuttering completely. In August, Condé Nast Italia also announced its plans to close Vogue Italia's four sister magazines, L'Uomo Vogue (for menswear), Vogue Bambini (for childrenswear), Vogue Sposa (for bridal) and Vogue Gioiello (for jewelry).

Seven print editors-in-chief left their titles

Among the most notable news stories of 2017 was the exodus of long-time, high-profile editors-in-chief who, this year, announced their departures from their respective magazines, many of whom did so at roughly the same time. Cindi Leive, Graydon Carter, Robbie Myers and Nancy Gibbs all revealed their exits from Glamour, Vanity Fair, Elle and Time, respectively, in September; Keija Minor announced hers from Brides in August, while Alexandra Shulman completed her last day at British Vogue in June. Vogue Arabia's inaugural editor-in-chief, Saudi princess Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz, also left her post in April after just two issues.

22 high-profile departures 

It wasn't just creative directors that kept us on our toes — we saw exits all across the industry, from retail to business. In editorial, Anne Slowey left her role as fashion news director at Elle; Andrew Bevan left his spot as style director at Teen Vogue; GQ Creative Director Jim Moore stepped down; and Yahoo Style Editor-in-Chief Joe Zee resigned. In design, Jonathan Saunders left DVF; Deborah Lloyd left Kate Spade New York; Riccardo Tisci left Givenchy; Christopher Bailey left Burberry; Fulvio Rigoni left Salvatore Ferragamo; Lubov Azria left BCBG (which led into a messy contract dispute); David Koma left Mugler; Massimo Giorgetti left Emilio Pucci; Rodolfo Paglialunga left Jil Sander; Bouchra Jarrar left Lanvin; Lisa Kulson left Theory; and Topshop and Topman creative chiefs Kate Phelan and Gordon Richardson stepped down from their respective brands. In retail, J.Crew began a complete, top-to-bottom restructuring which involved the departures of CEO Mickey Drexler, Creative Director and President Jenna Lyons and Chief Design Officer Somsack Sikhounmuong. Finally, on the business side, Ralph Lauren CEO Stefan Larsson stepped down following a creative clash with the brand's founder.

Seven high-profile hires

There were also a number of big-name hires that made headlines, excluding creative directors (which have been listed above). In a power move, Farfetch tapped Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet as co-chairman, also hiring street style doyenne Yasmin Sewell as its vice president of style and creative. After stepping down from J.Crew, Mickey Drexler joined fledgling athletic brand Outdoor Voices as chairman of its board of directors. Nina Garcia replaced Robbie Myers at Elle; Radhika Jones is poised to take over for Graydon Carter at Vanity Fair; and Edward Enninful succeeded Alexandra Shulman at British Vogue. Former Marc by Marc Jacobs designer Luella Bartley became the new head of global design for Calvin Klein Jeans. P&G veteran Patrice Louvet also joined Ralph Lauren as CEO, succeeding Stefan Larsson. 

10 brands received major outside investments 

It's been a busy year for millennial-friendly direct-to-consumer brands, many of which landed major outside investments to further their businesses. Glossier set a high bar last November when it announced its $24 million Series B, but this year wasn't too shabby, either. Outdoor Voices cleaned up with a $9 million round of funding in August. Moda Operandi raised another $165 million in growth capital, co-led by Investor Adrian Cheng and Apax Digital. Online fashion startup Poshmark scored $87.5 million in a round led by Singapore's state investor Temasek Holdings. Sneaker startup Allbirds raised $17.5 million in a Series B round led by Tiger Global Management, a New York-based firm that's also backed Warby Parker. Year-old subscription-only vitamin company Care/of raised $12 million in Series A, led by Goodwater Capital. China's second-largest e-commerce company (after Alibaba) JD.com invested a staggering $397 million into luxury e-commerce giant Farfetch. Luxury resale site The RealReal scored $50 million in growth equity financing from private equity firm Great Hill Partners. Alexa Chung-backed, Oslo-headquarted shopping app Villoid raised $1.62 million. Vestiaire Collective started the year off with a $62 million Series E investment, while Reformation finished up with a $25 million investment to fuel brick-and-mortar growth.

Seven retailers filed for bankruptcy

While some retailers spent the last 12 months looking for new and buzzy ways to reinvent their businesses, others didn't make it out of 2017's "retail apocalypse" alive. Those included Wet Seal, BCBG Max Azria, Payless, The Limited, Rue21, True Religion and Aerosoles, all of which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this year. It wasn't all business-ending news, though: In December, it was revealed that The Limited has plans to return to plus sizing with the help of private equity firm Sycamore Partners.

Five fashion and beauty properties closed

We all know it wasn't an easy year for retail, but those hardships also extended to non-retail-facing brands and product extensions, too. Estée Lauder discontinued its year-old millennial-targeted cosmetics and skin-care brand The Estée Edit, while British fashion label Sibling shut down operations two years after the death of designer Joe Bates. Topshop dropped its high-priced "Unique" line to offer "a more democratic price structure." Meanwhile, in retail, 2nd Time Around abruptly closed all stores due to online competition, also failing to pay consigners, and Parisian concept store Colette will close its doors for good come Dec. 20. 

Seven fashion and beauty industry figures passed away

Sadly, 2017 saw the deaths of beloved couturier Azzedine Alaïa, Condé Nast chairman emeritus S.I. Newhouse, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt, Yves Saint Laurent co-founder Pierre Bergé, writer, editor and downtown fixture Glenn O'Brien and former Fendi president Carla Fendi.

Three fashion-adjacent men accused of sexual assault

In October, The New York Times published an explosive expose that chronicled decades of sexual harassment and assault allegations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein had been married to Marchesa designer Georgia Chapman since 2007 — Chapman has since announced their separation — and helped her get designs on red carpet A-listers; he also co-produced "Project Runway." Later in the month, Condé Nast International announced that it had banned photographer Terry Richardson — who has harbored his own slew of allegations since 2013 — from working with its publications, and several brands and publications have followed suit. Meanwhile, in December, two male models came forward with claims of sexual misconduct against Bruce Weber

Nine Virgil Abloh collaborations

No one in the fashion space was busier than Virgil Abloh, who — in addition to maintaining his primary role as creative director of his own brand, Off-White — served as the year's most prolific collaborator for his work with the likes of Nike, Warby Parker, Ikea, Jimmy Choo, Levi's, the New York City Ballet, Umbro, Kith and breakout rapper Lil Uzi Vert. Here's hoping our man gets some well-deserved quiet time over the holidays. 

40 shades of Fenty Beauty foundation

In September, Rihanna's Fenty Beauty demonstrated what a diverse, inclusive makeup range really looked like with its 40-shade Pro Filt'r foundation launch. And it was a game-changer: A photo of a Fenty Beauty display at a Sephora — which pictured the darker shades completely sold out — went viral. "The dark Fenty Beauty foundation shades are sold out everywhere!" read the accompanying tweet. "This is for all the makeup brands who think the dark shades won't sell well." 

17 beauty launches by a Kardashian or Jenner

The Kardashian-Jenners were just some of the celebrities (see also: Rihanna and Gigi Hadid) who had extremely successful years in the beauty space. Kim Kardashian West's KKW Beauty line entered the marketplace in June and has since launched five product lines, while Kylie Jenner's Kylie Cosmetics, which is already well on its way to becoming a $1 billion company, came out with 12 new offerings.

$10 million made in one day by both KKW Beauty and Kylie Cosmetics

In the beauty industry, 2017 was the year of the celebrity. In August, Kylie Jenner's Kylie Cosmetics birthday collection made close to $10 million in just one day; in November, Kim Kardashian West's KKW Fragrance did the same in November. What's more, both did so without traditional marketing.

28 Gucci suits worn by Harry Styles

The glam-rock pop prince had an uncharted breakout year as a solo artist, both in his musical pursuits (which were "sublime," per Rolling Stone) but also in his fashion explorations. His partnership with Gucci was remarkable, wearing the Italian house almost exclusively on the road — 28 different suits, much of which were custom. Looks like when he sang "hope you're wearing your best clothes," he meant it.

19 runways walked by Kaia Gerber

Cindy Crawford-spawn Kaia Gerber turned 16 in September, and immediately celebrated becoming runway-eligible by taking fashion month's Spring 2018 season by storm. She walked in 18 of the industry's most covetable shows throughout New York, London, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks — making her debut at Calvin Klein — and two months later, made a catwalk appearance at Chanel's Métiers d'Art 2018 show in Hamburg. This kid is just getting started.

50 magazines covered by someone with the last name "Hadid"

In case you had absolutely any doubt that fashion's Hadid obsession was slowing down, think again: Gigi, Bella and Anwar Hadid scored 50 — fifty — covers across both domestic and international titles this year. Bella walked away with the most — 30, eight of which were September covers — followed by Gigi with 16 and Anwar with four. Yolanda Hadid must be one #proudmommy.

87 looks in Versace's Gianni tribute collection

Not only did Donatella Versace surprise Versace's Spring 2018 show-goers with a reunion of five of most iconic '90s supermodels — Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Helena Christensen and Carla Bruni — but the collection itself also made for one of the most memorable industry moments of the year: All 87 looks were an emotional tribute to Donatella's late brother, Gianni, now 20 years after his murder, the events of which will be further memorialized in the upcoming season of "American Crime Story."

49 percent third-quarter sales growth at Gucci

The Gucci machine has been climbing and climbing since Alessandro Michele assumed the role of creative director in January 2015, but no period was as mind-bendingly remarkable as its third quarter of fiscal 2017: The Kering-owned house posted 49 percent sales growth, hitting €1.55 billion (roughly $1.82 billion). In not-unrelated news, the house also saw e-commerce sales grow in the triple digits in the same period — so it looks like consumers have no issue with Gucci's relentless Gucciness

$5 million class action lawsuit against Fyre Festival

Despite its high-budget, supermodel-packed promotions, Fyre Festival very quickly became a verified fustercluck of poor conditions, unfinished grounds and cheese-and-bread sandwiches. Though festival organizers called major influencers ahead of time and told them not to attend, the message didn't make it to Fyre Festival's civilian attendees. In May, the event was slapped with a $5 million class action lawsuit, asserting claims of "fraud, breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith and negligent misrepresentation." More than 150 festival-goers joined in on the suit.

Homepage photo: Estrop/Getty Images

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