This year was certainly full of major milestones for a handful of brands and industry individuals, but who actually dominated 2014? We have compiled a list of some of the most noteworthy players of the year (think: Hermès, J.W. Anderson, Dior and more) and why 2014 was so rewarding for them. Be sure to catch the list in its entirety below and let us know who you think we missed in the comments section …
Hermès - To be fair, every year could be Hermès's year. For instance, in 2013, the company set a record, reporting an operating profit of $1.69 billion with $5 billion in sales–the fastest-growing company in its industry over the past six years. This year, the house reported uninterrupted revenue growth (something similarly situated houses, including Prada, cannot claim). Financials aside, Hermès was victorious in 2014 for beating what it described as a "hostile takeover" by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, as the latter divested itself of its 23% stake in Hermès earlier this month.
Jonathan Anderson - The Irish-born designer, who welcomed an investment from LVMH last year and was appointed as creative director of Madrid-based Loewe, rather successfully rebranded Loewe and made his menswear debut for the house this year; won the British Fashion Council's Menswear Designer Award for his eponymous label this year; appointed his first-ever CEO; and launched e-commerce for his eponymous label this year. Also worth factoring in: The major sales increases that his brand is welcoming each season; as of June, wholesale revenues for both menswear and womenswear have doubled since September, bringing the label’s total number of stockists to more than 130. Not too shabby.
Raf Simons and Dior - The Christian Dior group announced its annual revenue for the year ending on June 30, 2014. Under the creative direction of Raf Simons, who helms the womenswear and couture collections, and fellow Belgian, Kris Van Assche, who serves as the director of the house’s Homme collection, Dior achieved $41.6 billion dollars and maybe more surprisingly, "exceptional growth" for its couture collection. That is no small feat considering many other houses are shuttering couture production altogether. Its also worth noting that Simons took home to Council of Fashion Designer's of America International Designer Award and was nominated for the British version of the award, as well.
Kendall Jenner - I hate to say it, but Kendall dominated this year. After making her modeling debut in February on the Marc Jacobs runway, she has taken the industry BY STORM. She walked for Chanel (both ready to wear and couture), Fendi, Givenchy, Dolce & Gabbana, Balmain, etc. etc. She landed Love magazine and Dazed & Confused covers, more than one Vogue spread, and campaigns for Givenchy, Karl Lagerfeld, and Marc Jacobs. In case that's not enough, she was named on models.com's coveted Top 50 list.
Models - After a steady slew of celebrity-casted ad campaigns and Vogue covers, models (I mean real models) made a major comeback this year. From Gemma Ward and Lara Stone respectively opening and closing Prada's Spring/Summer 2015 show (and the former landing the corresponding campaign) to a handful of girls, including Joan Smalls, Cara Delevingne, Karlie Kloss, and Arizona Muse, covering Vogue's September issue, the model is back in fashion.
Mansur Gavriel - The brand, which consists of design duo, Rachel Mansur, who is based in Los Angeles, and Floriana Gavriel, who lives in Berlin, debuted in June 2013 and its accessories (sleek and virtually hardware and logo-free bucket and tote bags) have resulted in "it" bag status and waiting lists ever since, as well as placement on the arms of an array of industry insiders. In 2014, the brand launched its e-commerce site, collaborated with Opening Ceremony, and began stocking on Net-a-Porter, Moda Operandi, Barneys, etc. (styles frequently sell out hours after being listed online - FYI), and landed the top spot on Lyst's 2014 Fashion Infographic study, as it was one of the site's top three most-viewed products for the entire year.
Hood By Air - No longer just the province of excessively hip downtown kids, 2014 saw Hood By Air stocked at Barney's across the country and present an avant-garde ready-to-wear collection in Paris; all the while cementing its business-savvy with its Classics Collection in New York - its real money-maker. What's more, the brand became recognized outside its cool-kid quarters - receiving a nod by the fashion industry at large with an Emerging Menswear nomination at the CFDA Awards and taking home the LVMH Special Prize. While 2014 was a banner year for mixing the high-low aesthetic, no brand can be said to have done a better job or achieved more tangible results than HBA.
Adidas - While decidedly not a luxury brand itself, 2014 saw Adidas overtake Nike as the lifestyle brand to beat; producing collaborations with Rick Owens, Pharell, Nigo, Mark McNairy, and of course, Raf Simons. The latter's involvement helped spur the brand's Stan Smith to the forefront of fashion's collective consciousness as they were found on the feet of leading designers like Phoebe Philo (not long after releasing a Nike Air Force 1 homage) and Simons himself; in addition to limited editions for luxury retailers Barneys, Colette, and Dover Street Market. Moreover, Adidas managed to bring veteran designer Yohji Yamamoto back into the fold of their Y-3 brand, leading to one of the most talked about luxury sneakers of the year: the Y-3 Qasa. And lest you forget, the biggest story in footwear of 2014 didn't even revolve around an actual pair of shoes - just the constant whispers of the upcoming Kanye West collaboration.
Public School - If we're being literal, 2014 was Public School's golden year. Coming off a very strong 2013 (think: winning the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Prize in 2013 and a CFDA award for best Emerging Menswear Design), Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow took home the CFDA award for Best Menswear Design this year, as well as the regional award of the International Woolmark Prize, thereby giving the NYC-based label more accolades than many more established brands. All the while, the duo behind the label found time to produce a more accessible J.Crew capsule collection and expand into women's ready-to-wear. 2014 was certainly good to Public School.