No doubt, streetwear dominated 2018. Earlier this year, Virgil Abloh was appointed men’s artistic director of Louis Vuitton, succeeding Kim Jones, who had held the position for seven years. Then, this past June, Supreme won the prestigious CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year Award—an honor that’s previously been given to the likes of Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, and Tom Ford. And it’s been interesting to see how the fashion industry, including luxury fashion houses, have responded. Some adopted streetwear’s drop system and designed more streetwear-friendly pieces. Others, refreshingly, stayed their own course.
But the year wasn’t just about the Supremes and the Virgils of the world. Jones presented his debut Dior Men collection during Paris Fashion Week. Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond captivated the fashion industry with collections that were both creative and political—earning him this year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award. Jerry Lorenzo, our latest cover star, is set to close out the year in a major way, releasing his much-anticipated Nike Air Fear of God collaboration, which will include his own Nike silhouette. Prada, well, was everywhere. After 12 months, nearly 365 days, here are our picks for the best brands of 2018.
Fear of God
Comme des Garçons
Ronnie Fieg continued to build upon his already impressive resume in 2018. The collaborations—with Coca-Cola, Bergdorf Goodman, Mitchell & Ness, etc.—were plenty. The fashion shows were unlike anything you’ve seen; this year’s Kith Park had bleachers that moved from set to set, each one dedicated to collaborations with heavyweights like Versace and Greg Lauren. The celeb co-signs pile up by the day (the Biebers are big supporters, and Kith campaigns have featured the likes of Allen Iverson). In just seven years, Kith has transformed from a small, dimly lit boutique in the back of Atrium in New York to a worldwide streetwear empire. But if you know Fieg, the possibilities seem to have become limitless, which means it’s always exciting to see what he’ll cook up next. —Mike DeStefano