Nothing is as constant as change - that's probably what some fashion houses thought, too, and so the upcoming fashion weeks for the Spring/Summer 2024 season are all about new beginnings. To keep track of all the excitement, FashionUnited has rounded up the most exciting debuts of the season.
A minimalist debut at Helmut Lang
New York Fashion Week not only kicks off the fashion weeks of the four major global fashion capitals, but also a series of highly anticipated creative director debuts. First up is designer Peter Do, whose first show as creative director for fashion label Helmut Lang will officially kick off New York Fashion Week on September 8.
Do, who became known for clean cuts, monochromatic colourways and striking designs while heading his eponymous label, joined Helmut Lang in May. Since Austrian designer Lang left his label in 2005, the creative responsibility of his minimalist legacy has been in many - often less than successful - hands. Do is set to change that after four years during which Helmut Lang had no creative director at all.
Do’s assignment at his eagerly awaited debut will be to reinvigorate the brand. How exactly the designer will do that remains to be seen. But as he travels to Paris this year with his eponymous brand, he promises in a video posted on Helmut Lang's Instagram account to focus on New York - the brand's home since its founding in 1986. In doing so, the designer is also giving the brand's archive some attention, as in 1998 it was Helmut Lang who was the first designer to advertise on a New York taxi.
Peter Hawkings for Tom Ford: An American in Milan
A debut that most people probably were expecting to see in New York is designer Peter Hawkings' first collection for Tom Ford. However, Hawkings, who was appointed to lead Tom Ford in April, will unveil his vision at Milan Fashion Week on September 21. The designer may not be on everyone's radar, but he has long been considered Tom Ford's right-hand man, who sold his eponymous label to Estée Lauder late last year and subsequently bid farewell to the fashion world.
Although Tom Ford, both the designer and his label, is deeply rooted in US fashion, Milan is a place that has deep connections to Ford's personal and professional history. Connections that link him and Hawkings, as the new man at the helm of the luxury brand began his career at Gucci under Ford in 1998. Whether this is a strategic move to anchor the brand in one of Europe's luxury centres, or perhaps an allusion to Hawkings' beginnings and the brand's future creative direction, remains to be seen.
Tradition instead of trend? Sabato de Sarno ushers in Gucci's future
Speaking of Gucci, the Florentine luxury fashion brand will finally unveil its first collection under its new creative director Sabato de Sarno on September 22. De Sarno, who was a pupil of Valentino designer Pierpaolo Piccioli, has been overshadowed as fashion director by the designers he has worked for, but is now finding his way into the spotlight.
The departure of designer Alessandro Michele and the two collections that followed, which the fashion house presented without a creative director, have caused a lot of excitement and speculation. Now the fashion world will learn soon what a Gucciverse without Michele will look like - and whether the brand will indeed return to its former ways.
The first signs that Gucci might be returning to its traditional heritage instead of focussing on trends have already become apparent in the past few months. The famous Jackie 1961 handbag, designed in the 1950s and later named after US First Lady Jackie Kennedy, made a comeback, as did the Gucci Horsebite clutch, once designed by creative director Tom Ford and spotted on the runway in February by keen observers. One thing seems clear, however, the era when Gucci was synonymous with vintage bohemianism, eccentricity and maximalism left the fashion house with Michele.
Long live Franco Moschino
No debut, but instead a breath of fresh air, is in store at Moschino. The Italian fashion house, which said goodbye to its long-time creative director Jeremy Scott in March, has not yet filled the position. Still, the show planned for September 21 will go on.
To pay tribute to the legacy of founder Franco Moschino and properly celebrate the brand's 40th anniversary, Moschino has commissioned stylists Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, Katie Grand, Gabriella Karefa-Johnson and Lucia Liu to each create ten looks inspired by the late designer's work.
A fashion turnaround for Bally?
No other fashion city has been marked by more new beginnings this year than Milan of which Bally’s debut on September 23 is a great example. The Swiss fashion brand will present the vision of its new creative director at MFW. It's another turnaround for the brand after designer Rhuigi Villaseñor left in May after a fairly manageable period lasting just under a year. He has since been replaced by Simone Bellotti, a design veteran who has primarily only worked behind the scenes at major Italian brands such as Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Gianfranco Ferré.
Like Gucci, in appointing Bellotti, Bally opted for a designer with many years of experience in the industry, but without much media appeal, making him the complete opposite of Villaseñor, whose appointment in January 2022 caused quite a stir. To what extent Bellotti will also initiate a visual turnaround at the fashion label will become clear in the next few weeks.
Francesca Murri to lead Fiorucci's "creative reconstruction"
Fiorucci is returning to an iconic place under the leadership of new creative director Francesca Murri. In 1967, Elio Fiorucci opened his first store in the Lombard fashion metropolis, which is now also set to become the scene of the brand's creative reconstruction.
The label is once again under new management and now wants to return to its former glory. In 1967, Elio Fiorucci opened his first store in the Lombard fashion metropolis, which is now also to become the setting for the creative rebuilding of the brand.
The label is once again under new management and now wants to return to its former glory. Murri, who has designed for renowned fashion houses such as Versace, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Givenchy and Ferragamo over the course of her career, is to be the creative mastermind. Whether the label's iconic angel will learn to fly again under her leadership remains to be seen.
A new beginning for Carven with Louise Trotter
There are few things the fashion world loves even more than a debut- a debut that is also a comeback is at the top of the list - and that's exactly the case with Louise Trotter's arrival at Carven. On September 30, the British designer will not only present her vision for the French label, but also bring it back to the Paris Fashion Week runway after the label's five-year absence from PFW.
Trotter is not only the first designer to bring the label back to the catwalk, but the brand's first designer since the departure of Serge Ruffieux in 2018. Since then, the insolvent fashion house has been taken over by the Chinese Icicle Fashion Group Co, Ltd. and is now to be relaunched with Trotter. The focus will be on clothing that captivates through simplicity and does justice to both people and the environment, as the designer already announced when she assumed her new position.
The next attempt at Anne Demeulemeester
For the Belgian fashion house Ann Demeulemeester, this is already the second debut this year. After the exceptionally short guest appearance of Ludovic de Saint Sernin at the helm of the brand, even by the standards of the fashion industry, the relatively unknown designer Stefano Gallici will try his luck this season.
The new creative director has been in office since June and yet his first collection will already be presented on the catwalk on September 30. It could be to his advantage that he comes from the brand's own ranks as menswear designer and was already active there for three years before his being promoted to creative director.
This season, however, the fashion world not only gets to welcome newcomers, but also has to say goodbye to industry giants. In Milan, Walter Chiapponi will take his last bow on the catwalk of luxury brand Tod's, and in Paris, Gabriela Hearst will show off her final collection for Chloé.
This article was originally published on FashionUnited.DE. Translation and editing into English by Veerle Versteeg.