The past few years have seen a non-stop deluge of designer musical chairs. Superstar designers like Alber Elbaz, Raf Simons, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Peter Copping, Peter Dundas have left high-profile jobs. One of the biggest shocks was Riccardo Tisci leaving Givenchy after a 12-year tenure and making the label one of the hottest in the world. Everyone said he was leaving to take over Versace, alongside his dear friend and one-time Givenchy campaign model Donatella Versace. There are rumors that Tisci was too demanding in negotiations and derailed the hiring, one that most of the fashion world imagined was a done deal.
After Anna Wintour, Graydon Carter is the most legendary editor in American publishing. He's been at the helm of Vanity Fair for 25 years and overseen covers with every major global superstar, as well as an Oscar party that has eclipsed the actual awards themselves as the most star-powered event of the year. When he announced this year that he was leaving the publication, it was a rare case of a big fish leaving without being pushed, whereas other high-profile step downs have led to endless speculation. At Glamour, Cindi Leive left after 16 years as editor-in-chief. Robbie Meyers was out at Elle after 17 years and Jim Moore, creative director of GQ, has left the position after nearly 40 years at the magazine. As budgets are slashed at major publishers, it's often easier to save money by laying off legends whose contracts and salaries were negotiated back in the good old days. Still, Vanity Fair won't be saving much if the rumors are true that part of Carter's departure package is a full salary for 20 years.
3. Alexandra Shulman's shocking cluelessness
Like Graydon Carter, when Alexandra Shulman announced her departure as editor in chief of British Vogue after 25 years, it seemed she was smart to get out while still on top, and before budget cuts and general upheaval conspired to force her out. Her replacement was Edward Enninful, the first Vogue editor of color and a stylist known for some of the most talked-about fashion pieces in the past decades. Shulman was certainly never thought of as a clothes horse or party girl, but it appeared she was smart and hardworking. In an interview after her departure with the Guardian, she seemed totally tone-deaf to the times and an elitist with zero clue about diversity. She seemed shocked that people were outraged by the photo in her last issue of Shulman and her 54 colleagues, all of whom were white. She went on to say that, over the years, relatively few people of color applied for jobs at the magazine—shocking that the editor of Vogue in London, one of the truly great diverse cities in the world, could be so out of touch.
4. Christopher Bailey leaving Burberry
In his years at Burberry, Christopher Bailey led the company from its place as a stodgy British heritage brand to make it a leader in luxury worldwide. He eventually took over as CEO in addition to his role as creative director. The double duty proved too much and a new CEO was brought in — Marco Gobbetti, formerly of Celine. With Bailey's departure after 16 years designing the brand, rumors are that he'll be replaced by Celine's Phoebe Philo, who has made Celine one of the most in-demand and critically acclaimed luxury brands in the world. With so many big-named designers leaving jobs over the past few years, it almost shouldn't be a shock that Bailey is leaving, but it is.
6. Sexual harassment scandal spreading to fashion photographers
As TIME Magazine named the Silence Breakers, the women (and men) who've blown the whistle on sexual assault & harassment, Person of the Year for 2018, the tsunami of sexual harassment and assault accusations that have flooded politics and entertainment are splashing onto the shores of fashion photography. Condé Nast issued a statement that they would no longer work with Terry Richardson, although they didn't work very much with him anyway, and now several models have come forward accusing Bruce Weber of sexual harassment. Vanity Fair cancelled an event at Art Basel it was hosting in Weber's honor, and rumors are swirling that many more accusations will come. The New York Times is allegedly working on a piece that will not only expose major dirt on Weber, but also at least three other superstar photographers in the Condé Nast stable.
7. Colette closing its doors after 20 years as a fashion mecca
If any fashion-conscious person was passing through Paris during the past 20 years, more likely than not you would run into them at Colette, the rue Saint-Honoré concept store started by Sarah Andelman and named for her mother, Colette Rousseaux, who was usually seen behind the counter. Few things made a brand seem cooler that being carried at Colette, or featured in their windows. Andelman, who's always been ahead of the curve and a store owner who changed the look of retail, recently announced she's formed a consulting company called Just An Idea that will consult with designers and artists. With the crazy state of brick-and-mortar shopping these days, we think Andelman is pretty brilliant to get out while the getting is good.
8. Hood by Air closing
New York Fashion Week is at is best when a wild young brand emerges and takes the fashion world by storm. That's what happened with Hood By Air, which was founded in the mid-2000s by Shayne Oliver and partner Leilah Weinraub. By 2015 the brand was one of NYC's most talked about labels and the show was the hot ticket of NYFW. Still, in April the duo announced that they were putting the brand on hiatus while Oliver focused on designing a capsule collection for Helmut Lang which debuted in September. Perhaps the brand will come back at some point but losing their energy and subversive attitude is a blow to the American fashion scene.