The year 2019 has been an interesting year when it comes to fashion. Seasons, for example, are starting to become obsolete, with designers showcasing outerwear for spring/summer and florals for autumn/winter. At the forefront of everyone's minds is sustainability and understanding what effect the industry is having on the world, and there is more emphasis on investing in pieces that last.
When it comes to trends, it's arguably divided down the middle—either you're a maximalist or a minimalist. There are, however, some things that have united the fashion crowd and that is which designers have truly influenced our wardrobes.
There are so many new labels being launched these days, especially with Instagram playing an integral role in marketing and promotion, it can be hard to be heard above all the noise. But there are a few fashion brands and designers that managed to make a real and genuine impact on our wardrobes this year. They influenced trends (yes, tiny bags from Jacquemus we're looking at you), gave us new ways to think about styling but ultimately made us feel good when we wore them.
Interestingly, this year wasn't just about new brands—there was the reemergence of classic labels such as Dr Martens and Laura Ashley too. Ready to see the rest of the designers we pegged as the biggest of 2019? Keep scrolling for our run down.
I mean, who wasn’t wearing Bottega this year? Thanks to new creative direction under Daniel Lee, the Italian fashion house was propelled into the orbits of everyone in the fashion industry. It was hard to not spot a clutch bag or a pair of the square-toe shoes during fashion week, and Instagram is full of celebrities and influencers wearing some form of the brand. Prepare to see even more of Lee's creations come 2020.
The brand of extremes, Jacquemus gave us the largest of sun hats and the tiniest of bags. The impact on the fashion industry was huge—plenty of other designers and high-street brands started rolling out their own versions, especially of the micro tote, which sold out immediately.
Who wasn’t wearing a pair of Tevas in the summer of 2019? It’s easy to see how this became the break-out sandal brand of the year as it could be defined in three words: black, simple and comfortable.
Arguably, Laura Ashley had one of the biggest impacts on the fashion industry in 2019. Thanks to the reemergence of the prairie dress, originally spearheaded by the ‘80s brand, plenty wanted to get their hands on the original with prices of vintage Laura Ashley dresses skyrocketing on eBay. It wasn’t just the silhouettes, however, it was also the floral prints that were copied by various emerging dress brands. From Batsheva to Loretta Caponi, as well as Urban Outfitters collaboration with Laura Ashley, this brand was given the ultimate reinvention.
If there’s a brand that perfectly encapsulated 2019's summer then it has to be Faithfull the Brand. Leopard, tiger and bold citrus prints were perfect for lazing on a sun lounger but also just lifting your mood if you were stuck in the office.
Dress brands, in case you hadn’t noticed, were big for 2020. We were spoiled, quite frankly, by the sheer volume of incredible designs. Created by stylists and influencers Thora Valdimars and Jeanette Madsen, these party-friendly frocks are ‘80s-cool with a Scandi twist.
The brand that experienced Mathew McConaughy-levels of renaissance in 2019 was surely Dr Martens. The classic bovver boots, made iconic by The Who’s Pete Townsend and ‘70s punks and skinheads, emerged as the tough stomper boot preferred by the fashion crowd. It’s not wholly surprising considering the trend for ankle boots for Autumn/Winter 2019 was very much biker or hiker, and DMs fit well with this trend.
The Who What Wear team's go-to dress brand. From chic frocks that are ideal for wedding guest attire to easy summer dresses that are made to be worn with Tevas, Ghost’s collection really does work for any occasion.
One of the most talked about and frequently sold-out brands of 2019 was the Frankie Shop. The French label’s reconstructed basics collection—from oversized beige blazers to angular jumpsuits—was a hit with the fashion crowd, as proven by the fact we spotted so many people wearing the jumpsuit at London Fashion Week.
Puffed sleeves were pretty much unavoidable in 2019. But the brand that made them a truly gorgeous statement? Cecilie Bahnsen. Expect to see these everywhere come spring 2020.
Fendi has always been a powerhouse brand, but thanks to the return of the iconic baguette bag and the bold logo branding on totes and sliders, the Italian brand was on the arms and the feet of every influencer.