The Business of Fashion
Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.
Agenda-setting intelligence, analysis and advice for the global fashion community.
LONDON, United Kingdom — Today, The Business of Fashion brings you an exclusive preview of The New Creative Establishment, a list of the 50 most influential and inspirational creatives working in fashion today, developed by our friends at INDUSTRIE magazine for their second issue which comes out later this month and was inspired by a much-watched list with a similar name published by Vanity Fair called 'The New Establishment'.
Ever since the widely-read debut issue of INDUSTRIE hit the stands last May, editors Jens Grede and Erik Torstensson have been carefully creating their list which they say is a "celebration of creativity in fashion." After the first draft of the list was developed, they sought feedback from fashion insiders and peers, and re-iterated the list several times. The emphasis is on the word 'new' as there are obviously some very important longtime names who continue to wield great influence who are not on the list. In the end, "those listed were selected not only for their creative faculties/creative contribution to fashion today but also because of the wider impact their work has had on fashion business, the social and other creative industries."
So, without further ado, here is The New Creative Establishment from INDUSTRIE magazine. What are your thoughts and opinions? Who deserves to be on the list? Is anyone missing? And what do you think of fashion power lists in general?
01. MERT ALAS AND MARCUS PIGGOT | Photographers
Mert and Marcus | Source: American Vogue
It's the nature of the industry that only the very best photographers get to shoot for the most influential magazines and most important campaigns. But when it comes to working at the highest end of the business, none can match the sheer scale of Mert and Marcus's output right now. Interview, Vogue, Love, W, Gucci, Givenchy, Stella McCartney, Bulgari, Armani, Miu Miu, CK Jeans, Chanel, Valentino... And because of the extent of their influence within the industry, they can make or break the creatives they choose to work with: the models, the stylists, the hair and make-up - even the designers. Alas owns a majority stake in the company of Turkish designer Hakaan, whose recent collection at Paris Fashion Week after scooping up the ANDAM award, saw Naomi Campbell and Eva Herzigova on the front row and Daria, Natalia, Mariacarla, Sasha and Anja on the runway. All proof of the magic touch wielded by this duo, the latest names to secure a place within fashion photography's all-time elite.
Phoebe Philo by David Sims | Source: French Vogue
After working wonders at Chloé, Phoebe Philo's arrival at Céline two years ago heralded the most significant revamp of a label since Tom Ford at Gucci. After several years in the wilderness post-Kors, Céline was finally back on track as Philo forged a new aesthetic for contemporary women, quietly and cleverly trimming back while the rest of the industry was blowing up big.
Meanwhile her mood books give us a tantalising glimpse of her creative process, and her ad campaigns take the radical step of dispensing with models and celebs to close up on the clothes. Most importantly of all, she has been namechecked by Kanye West in ‘Dark Fantasy’ — surely there can be no greater marker of one’s cultural relevance, and proof positive that she’s even mightier than the house she’s heading.
Nicolas Ghesquiere by Thibault Montamat | Source: W Magazine
Not exactly news, we know. But season after season his collections remain among the most creative and surprising of any Paris house, continuing to push the boundaries of modernism and making clever look sexy. After 13 years of brilliance this consistent, anyone else would be getting boring by now. What’s his secret?
04. CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS | Fashion School
Central St Martins at Kings Cross in 2011 | Source: Central St Martins
Just look at who went there (even if not all of them made it to graduation): Stella McCartney, Hussein Chalayan, Alexander McQueen, Hamish Bowles, John Galliano, Phoebe Philo, Katie Grand, Christopher Kane, Riccardo Tisci, Gareth Pugh, Giles Deacon… London's Central St Martins School of Art and Design is the educational establishment the industry turns to for new talent and fresh ideas. Truly fashion's greatest powerhouse.
Miuccia Prada | Photo: Guido Harari
For the unparalleled way she manages to balance creativity and commerciality. For being so recognisably Prada regardless of whether she’s pushing flowery romanticism, strict minimalism or rainbow-coloured optimism.
For the Prada Foundation. For her commitment to radical architecture. For being so clever and grown-up while taking way more risks than the youngsters. For making herself synonymous with fashion in mainstream culture thanks to being the first choice of fashion editors: would anyone have believed The Devil Wears Gucci?
06. TOM FORD | Designer and Film Director
Tom Ford by Steven Meisel | Source: Vogue.com
While the rest of the industry falls in love with the moving image and struggles to produce credible five-minute shorts about their collections, Tom Ford has already managed to produce a feature - and what's more, A Single Man proved to be the most important fashion film ever made.
And while the rest of the industry bares its innards to the world - Follow us on Twitter! See our broadcasts on Facebook! Watch our show live on our website! - Ford shuts the door on transparency and cranks up the mythology, letting in only a handpicked elite to see his show (for which he secured every top model, might we add) and making the rest of the world wait till Steven Meisel's photos of the collection were finally released.
Tom Ford keeps proving that he understands the culture of high-fashion better than anyone - and where he leads, the rest still follow.
Nicola Formichetti by Mariano Vivanco | Source: Style.com
It's the extent of his reach as much as the breadth of his imagination that makes Nicola Formichetti the highest-ranking stylist on our list. The sheer volume of his magazine work is vast enough: Dazed, Another, Another Man, V, V Man, Arena Homme Plus… And then there's Vogue Hommes Japan, his personal ideas lab, which he has made the most powerful Japanese-language publication in the global fashion industry. On top of all this, he's one of the few stylists who fully understands both the high end and the street, as comfortable consulting for Prada and Missoni as Adidas, Nike and Stüssy. And the high street too: to Uniqlo, where he is fashion director, he has brought a colourful and contemporary classicism that steers clear of both ephemeral trends and cautious conservatism.
But it’s his role as the personal design director for Lady Gaga, the biggest mainstream avant-garde pop star since Bowie, that has taken him to his broadest audience. Showcasing the likes of Armani Privé alongside obscure new designers, her looks are a testament to his full-spectrum eclecticism, which stretches all the way from the populist to the pretentious. Through her image, he has made spectacular freakishness covetable in even the most provincial backwaters of small-town conformity, orchestrating not so much a new trend as a cultural phenomenon. Given his penchant for theatrical futuro-absurdism, it was only a matter of time before he was tapped by Thierry Mugler, and we’re confident that as its creative director he can restore the neglected house to the glory days of its founder. His first season as creative director overseeing the men’s and women’s collections will show this February. We are very excited and expect great things.
Riccardo Tisci by Mario Sorrenti | Source: Vogue Paris
There’s no doubt that Riccardo Tisci’s Italian gothic vision of femininity — severe, androgynous, romantic — has dominated womenswear for the past two years.
He has also pushed a progressive gender agenda in his communication that the industry is still racing to keep up with, championing transgender model Lea T in his womenswear ads and women in his men’s collections, while reinventing couture by banishing those big old ball gowns. All eyes are now on Tisci to see if he can maintain the momentum he has gathered by being one step ahead at all times.
Vogue Paris 90th Anniversary Issue featuring Lara Stone | Photo: xxx
It’s 10 years since Carine Roitfeld’s takeover at Vogue Paris rejuvenated not only the magazine but the city itself — she became a hub around which the most exciting designers of recent times moved and emerged — and still her power has yet to wane.
Emmanuelle Alt meanwhile has played a definitive role in bringing Balmain and Isabel Marant the success they enjoy. With Anastasia Barbieri they define what 'best-dressed' means for the rest of the world, enlightening the high end through their pages and the rest of the world through their own image, now that they're blogger bait and paparazzi fodder. In short, they are the women the other girls want to dress like, both inside fashion and well beyond.
10. JOE McKENNA | Stylist
Joe McKenna by Bruce Weber | Source: New York Times
He sets a standard for precision and perfection that everyone else in his business respects and aspires to: the stylist’s stylist, who brings the same precision to every job he tackles, whether it’s Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, +J for Uniqlo or Cos. Self Service has even devoted a well earned tribute cover to his unique style.
Further reading: The New York Times
17. ETIENNE RUSSO | Producer and Founder of Villa Eugénie
Etienne Russo photographed by Alex Salinas | Source: INDUSTRIE
Each season Etienne Russo produces and masterminds the shows that remind us why the catwalk will never die.
Having put together over 500 shows — his client list boasts Maison Martin Margiela, Céline, Miu Miu, Lanvin and Chanel haute couture, among many others — Russo has forged a reputation as the most imaginative and ambitious producer in the industry.
23. STEFANO TONCHI | Editor-in-Chief of W
Stefano Tonchi by Alex Salinas | Source: INDUSTRIE
The media hoo-ha that met Stefano Tonchi’s move to W in the latter part of 2010 demonstrated two things: (a) that editors in chief of fashion titles really do enjoy mainstream celebrity status these days; and (b) that the combination of the magazine and Tonchi is an irresistibly powerful package.
Which is why, to whispers of 'the new Anna Wintour!', a gaggle of cameras and microphones shadowed his every move at the September shows. During his revolutionary spell at The New York Times he launched a batch of new titles, including the highly regarded T magazine in 2004, as well as its award-winning online companion site. Hopes are high that he can bring the same revitalising energy to W.
Joerg Koch by Thomas Lohr | Source: INDUSTRIE
At a time in which everyone is questioning the relevance of print publishing, 032c doesn’t seem to be suffering, largely because it actually has something to say. With unparalleled watershed and watercooler features like ‘Who is Steven Miesel?’ (an exclusive interview with Miesel featuring a 16-page foldout archive of all his Vogue Italia covers spanning 1988 to 2008) or ‘Hip, Hop, You Don’t Stop’ (a detailed portrait of the legendary German publisher Gerhard Stiedl), 032c interviews all the people you’ve ever wanted to know about, only before you’ve even realised it. The quality and intellectual rigour of its features never underestimates the intelligence of its readership – where else would you find ‘A Structural Analysis of Vogue Paris’? — and visually the magazine is equally daring, championing innovative young photographers such as Danko Steiner and Daniel Sannwald. And, with 032c’s archive of back issues now available to read online, a comprehensive interactive source of wisdom, the originality and scope of Koch’s editorial approach is out there for all to witness.
30. PETER PHILLIPS | Creative Director of Chanel Make-Up
Peter Philips by Willy Vanderperre | Source: INDUSTRIE
The Antwerp graphic designer turned experimental make-up artist has been head of Chanel’s cosmetics division for three years now and already he’s had a string of hits on the make-up counter. His Trompe l’Oeil temporary tattoos were the perfect fusion of his propensity for dark, youth culture references in his early days and Chanel’s status at the summit of maquillage de luxe. And then of course there are those nail varnishes
36. Christopher Kane
Jenna Lyons by Tom Allen | Source: INDUSTRIE
There are plenty of high-street brands trying to persuade us that they are design-led these days. But, J. Crew is the only chain whose aesthetic is deemed high enough by Net-a-Porter to be worthy of inclusion on its list of designer names. Responsible for making J. Crew creatively credible whilst keeping its appeal as broad as possible, Jenna Lyons is the designer driving the brand the big brand that's making America dress better.
40. GAINSBURY & WHITING | Producers
Gainsbury & Whiting by Ben Weller | Source: INDUSTRIE
Founded in 2000, out of a desire pick their own clients, create their own schedules and play by their own rules, Sam Gainsbury and Anna Whiting's company has become a cornerstone of innovative fashion production. With Sam working on the creative concepts and Anna as the 'realist' who brings them to life, they can pull together production teams from across all creative fields, thanks to the diverse background they share in film, art, theatre and music. This gives them a clear advantage over the competition, and was the reason why McQueen chose them to realise his shows: he didn't want a generic fashion approach to staging his collections. It also leaves them better equipped to facilitate the fashion industry's current fascination with moving image. Indeed, last year they decided to go back to their moving-image roots and set up a film division, Gainsbury & Whiting Associates, which now represents the pioneers of fashion film, including Steven Klein (whose 'Alejandro' video they produced), Nick Knight, Sam Taylor Wood and Ruth Hogben.
41. SALLY SINGER | Editor-in Chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine
Sally Singer by Greg Kadel | Source: INDUSTRIE
In the high-powered game of musical chairs that broke out within New York’s fashion magazines last summer, Sally Singer was the surprise new arrival in the editor-in-chief’s seat at T after Stefano Tonchi vacated it for W. ‘Surprise’ only in the sense that it was common knowledge how much she enjoyed her fashion news and features editor role at American Vogue, and how much she was appreciated — both within the magazine and beyond it — for the intellectual clout she had brought to its writing during her 11 years there. With a track record that includes heavyweight titles like the London Review of Books and New Left Review, and an education that encompassed post-graduate study in humanities at Yale, her first full issue in charge of T will hit the newsstands shortly after Issue 2 of Industrie, and she’s been understandably tight-lipped about what changes she is planning to make at the title. We can’t wait to seeing and reading the results of Singer’s handiwork.
47. KATE LANPHEAR | Style Director of American Elle
Kate Lanphear by Boog George | Source: INDUSTRIE
She has worked at Australian Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and, currently, American Elle, where she is style director. But Kate Lanphear's most influential creation is probably her own image.
Obsessively followed, snapped and discussed by bloggers — on whose sites every outfit she wears is dissected, praised and ultimately copied by their readers — her peroxide-platinum fringe and relaxed, la garçonne look have created a new template in fashion-editor archetypes.
The complete list of The New Creative Establishment, along with in-depth interviews with Etienne Russo, Stefano Tonchi, Joerg Koch, Peter Phillips, Jenna Lyons and Gainsbury & Whiting, appears in issue 02 of INDUSTRIE magazine, which hits newsstands around the world the week commencing 29 November, 2010.