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The Best Streetwear And Fashion Brands Of 2023 So Far

Jan 29, 2024Jan 29, 2024

From luxury brands like Marni to streetwear brands like Corteiz and Denim Tears, these are Complex Style's picks for the best brands of 2023 so far.

BY Microsoft Bing

Brand Publisher

A lot has happened in 2023 when it comes to style. Pharrell became Louis Vuitton's creative director of menswear. Supreme released its first collaboration with Undercover in five years. Denim Tears and Corteiz shut down New York City with their hyped product. Awake NY just opened its first store in New York City while Aimé Leon Dore gave its current spot on Mulberry a proper facelift.

Whether you’re someone who prescribes to luxury brands like Loewe or a Supreme diehard who's still lining up on Thursdays, no one can deny that 2023 has been an exciting year for style.

Here are Complex's picks for the best brands of 2023, so far.

A lot has happened in 2023 when it comes to style. Pharrell became Louis Vuitton's creative director of menswear. Supreme released its first collaboration with Undercover in five years. Denim Tears and Corteiz shut down New York City with their hyped product. Awake NY just opened its first store in New York City while Aimé Leon Dore gave its current spot on Mulberry a proper facelift.

Whether you’re someone who prescribes to luxury brands like Loewe or a Supreme diehard who's still lining up on Thursdays, no one can deny that 2023 has been an exciting year for style.

Here are Complex's picks for the best brands of 2023, so far.

Standout Moments: Supreme gear designed by Cactus Plant, a collaboration with Undercover, and a collaboration with Coogi.

"Supreme is Dead" is a tired take that's been constantly uttered throughout the brand's nearly 30-year history. Yes, Supreme has changed since it was acquired by the corporate clothing conglomerate VF Corp in 2020. But just because resellers aren't making huge numbers flipping box logo hoodies anymore doesn't mean Supreme has kicked the bucket just yet.

Supreme's Spring/Summer 2023 season was the first full collection designed under the eye of Tremaine Emory—who became Supreme's creative director last year. Emory did not disappoint. Hoodies and varsity jackets featuring art by Emory's close collaborator, Cynthia Lu of Cactus Plant Flea Market were a clear standout. And it doesn't come as a surprise that the founder of Denim Tears released some memorable denim pieces this season such as jacquard jeans inspired by Japanese denim that rehashed some of Supreme's iconic graphics.

Supreme's collabs continue to hit. Supreme Tamagotchis became the must-have accessory this season that quenched everyone's thirst for Y2K nostalgia. The label's first link-up with Undercover in five years had fashion archivists drooling over pieces from Undercover's archive. Collaborations with the New York City-based art collective Bernadette Corporation and the British fashion designer Sue Clowes show that Supreme is still tapping into niche subcultures. Even when Supreme could make a predictable move like drop knit sweaters with Coogi, it goes left to make something even more memorable. It's safe to say no one ever cooked up a Coogi knit durag or basketball jersey before Emory delivered this collaboration that he described as a "Love letter to the block."

Yes, Supreme may not be the same brand we once knew. But the brand isn't dead. It's alive and still thriving.—Lei Takanashi

Standout Moments: Re-opening its renovated flagship in New York City and growing its collaborative partnerships with New Balance and Porsche

Whether you categorize the brand as a streetwear brand, a menswear brand, or something in between, there are few brands currently doing things as consistently as Aimé Leon Dore.

Just when you may have rolled your eyes at another New Balance collab from Teddy Santis, he changes up the formula with suede uppers on the 550 or a trio of more obscure 860v2s from the brand's archive to keep it feeling new.

Its Leon Dore series, installments of vintage apparel like Columbia jackets and Polo Sport rugbies that feel like they were pulled off of a moodboard in the design room, continues to be a great layer of storytelling for ALD. The brand isn't shy about telling you what it's inspired by. Those inspirations resulted in a strong Spring/Summer 2023 range full of staples like linen chore coats and breezy camp collar shirts that anyone can wear alongside some riskier choices like a suede jacket with fringe detailing on the sleeves or a knit cycling jersey for anyone trying to elevate their wardrobe a bit. The brand also released a black and white racing jacket as part of its newest season that even ended up on LeBron James in the NBA pregame tunnel. For anyone patiently waiting for ALD to release that piece, this was it.

ALD's biggest moment of 2023 thus far wasn't its clothing, but rather its location. In May, the brand re-opened its renovated New York City flagship store on Mulberry Street. The new look now more closely resembles its London flagship. You know what to expect when you walk into an ALD store, no matter where in the world it is. If the brand stays on this trajectory, (with LVMH investment you should expect it to) that type of cohesion will only become more important as ALD continues to plant its flag all around the world. —Mike DeStefano

Standout Moments: The Spring 2023 Lookbook, Palace x Evisu, Palace x New Balance 991

It's been a steady year for Palace so far. The London-based skatewear brand has delivered on all fronts—from a slew of collabs with brands like Spitfire, New Balance, and Adidas, to consistently making cool shit on their own. Palace has perfected its ability to reinvent itself without sacrificing its heritage.

For Spring 2023, the brand dropped an expansive collection one could replace their entire wardrobe with. Its standout outerwear pieces included varsity jackets embroidered with the phrase "Good Girls go to Heaven, Bad Girls come to Palace" and boxy racecar zip-ups equipped with its signature Tri-Ferg logo. It dropped camp shirts covered in a lottery ticket print, striped rugby T-shirts, buckled and pocketed utilitarian vests, and of course, a bounty of graphic T-shirts. Its collabs also didn't disappoint. In a surprise partnership with Ugg, the brand dropped pairs of the Australian brand's fur-lined boots covered in lightning bolts. Evisu reconnected with Palace for the final installment of their collaborative series to drop cherry blossom-embroidered denim, full camouflage looks, and more to pay tribute to the styles that dominated England in the early 2000s. Palace also reimagined the Reebok Club C Mid Revenge and the trendy Adidas Puig Samba for a second time along with matching firebird tracksuits.

If its latest drops signify anything, it's that Palace's momentum isn't slowing down any time soon. The Summer 2023 range is outfitted with balloon animal-inspired Tri-Ferg tees, relaxed button-downs, acid-washed denim, and football-inspired crewnecks. And of course, the brand partnerships remained strong. Their MADE in UK 991 collaboration with New Balance took inspiration from hiking, applying the vibrant colors of outdoor gear to the running sneaker. Spitfire was added to the brand's rolodex of collaborators when they dropped a collection of apparel including cozy knitwear, striped polos, and mesh shorts as well as a variety of skateboard wheels emblazoned with Spitfire x Palace co-branding. Most recently, it linked with the eyewear brand Oakley to create early 2000s-inspired chrome shades and accompanying gear.

In short, Palace has smashed 2023 so far. This isn't just Supreme's little brother across the pond anymore. —Alessandra Maldonado

Standout Moments: Releasing his latest New Balance collaboration in tandem with his SS23 collection, shedding light on the history of Black travel through his Vans capsule collection, using his platform to give back to the Chicago community

When we first highlighted Joe Freshgoods on this list in 2020, he was coming off of one of his strongest years to date that began his trajectory from a local legend in Chicago to one of streetwear's most recognizable figures. And he hasn't slowed down since.

We’re just halfway through 2023 and he has already provided fans with memorable releases. His outdoorsy New Balance collection featured two pairs of 610s and a Rainier hiking boot. It was released in tandem with his latest inline collection that flexed his growth as a designer with standouts like a graphic sherpa quarter-zip and sherpa shorts covered in a custom camo pattern, while also paying homage to streetwear history with items like a graphic T-shirt nodding to Lil Wayne's Bape era. A winter-themed collection with Vans gave customers a history lesson about the green book, a guide used by Black travelers throughout the ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s to help them locate Black-friendly businesses, and is the latest example of Joe Freshgoods’ commitment to using product to tell meaningful stories and not just make sales.

And he isn't just dishing out his latest hyped-up sneakers. In March, his nonprofit Community Goods partnered with the Chicago Blackhawks to launch a store at Michele Clark High School in Chicago that allows students to redeem points earned for good behavior and grades on special apparel and supplies. The students also helped him design special warmup jerseys worn on-ice by the Blackhawks. In May, he hosted a pop-up in his home city with Mario Kristian's No Free Coffee complete with commemorative merch. As Joe Freshgoods’ profile rises, don't expect his commitment to his community to fade away. Expect his contributions to just get bigger. —Mike DeStefano

Standout Moments: Opening its first brick and mortar store in New York City, designing its own Asics silhouette, and a memorable lookbook for its collaboration with Carhartt WIP

When Awake NY opened its first flagship store in the Lower East Side this month, it felt like the entire city came to its store opening. It wasn't just for some hyped new drop or to get a glimpse of a big celebrity. It was a representation of founder Angelo Baque's commitment to building a community. Not just peddling nice clothes.

Awake started its year building upon its collaboration with Asics. It debuted the GEL-NYC, an original silhouette that fused elements of the Gel-Nimbus 3, Gel-MC Plus V, and Gel-Cumulus 16. In March, it released another standout collaboration with Carhartt WIP that offered a contemporary take on ‘90s hip-hop style. The lookbook featured hip-hop legend Rakim and LVMH Prize finalist Raul Lopez of Luar. Outside of collabs, Awake's latest seasonal collection continues to offer a solid mix of casual menswear and classic streetwear. As Awake grows, its collaborative partners have also gotten bigger. Tommy Hilfiger and Mercedes-Benz recently came knocking to create an F1 capsule with the brand. A pair of Nike Air Ships hanging from the ceiling of Awake's new store hint that a release with the sportswear giant could be on the horizon. Outside of collabs, Awake's latest seasonal collection continues to offer a solid mix of casual menswear and classic streetwear.

Baque has created a distinct identity for his label and its new flagship store perfectly represents what that looks like. They surreptitiously tucked throw-ups by legendary New York City graffiti bomber JA ONE behind clothing racks. It kept the original furnishings of an OG menswear store on Orchard to commemorate the businesses once commonly found in a pre-gentrified Lower East Side. The store's display shelves take notes from Supreme and the shop's windows display artwork like Alife. But Awake doesn't feel like a brand that's desperately clinging on to New York's past. Instead, it's using it to build its own future.—Lei Takanashi

Standout Moments: Rihanna's custom Super Bowl flightsuit, Beyoncé's Renaissance Tour

Jonathan Anderson has been at the helm of Loewe since 2013, and his momentum at the brand isn't slowing anytime soon. Through his creative whimsy and reinvention of the 159-year-old house's code, Anderson has found great success in subverting timeless garments without following trends.

Anderson pursued "reductionist acts" for his Fall 2023 men's and women's presentations this year. At the men's show, garments toed the line between clothing and sculpture. Models wore jackets crafted out of beaten copper, a coat of armor crafted to look like the heavy metal was billowing in the wind. To balance the weight of SS23, many of the model's looks were paired with silk boxer shorts, breezy button-down tops, and even feathered angel wings peeking out of blouses. In a similar fashion, Anderson's reductionist designs highlighted texture, movement, and illusion at the women's show. Trompe l’oeil looks smattered the runway, with models wearing white silk dresses printed with illusory, blurred frocks. Pixelated hoodies, tees, and co-ord sets à la Minecraft brough the 8-bit aesthetic to the runway. Models also wore structural leather skirts, cardigans, and dresses designed in a My Polly Pocket fashion, highlighting the elemental foundation of the collection.

Outside of the brand's standard capsules, Loewe made headlines this year with its custom designs for some of the biggest celebrities on the planet. For Super Bowl LVII, Rihanna ended her almost six-year hiatus from performing while wearing a monochromatic red ensemble designed by Anderson. He also designed a series of looks for Beyoncé to sport during her Renaissance tour. Among the various outfits created for her was a gold bedazzled catsuit adorned with black arms and red nails à la Fall/Winter 2023, and a silver two-piece set equipped with a chrome breastplate.

If working with Beyoncé and Rihanna is only a glimpse at what the rest of 2023 has in store for Loewe, we can't wait to see what's next. —Alessandra Maldonado

Standout Moments: Growing its archive of New Balance and Reebok collaborations, kicking off new apparel partnerships with brands like Levi's

JJJJound isn't a brand you go to when you are looking for a design that's pushing the envelope or taking strides into new territory. For some people, that's enough to write it off as boring or a label lacking creativity. But what the Montreal imprint has been able to do with consistency––create staple pieces at the highest level of quality—should not be overlooked.

The brand's most popular collaborations are its sneakers with New Balance and Reebok. Each new installment is tweaked just enough to feel new, a different colored terry cloth lining in a white leather Club C or an earth-toned suede on a New Balance runner that's just a hair lighter than the previous one that the brand released. This year, that meant a Club C with olive green accents and a light brown New Balance 991. Beyond sneakers, the brand is taking measures to make the best essential pieces possible, and isn't afraid to recruit the collaborators that exemplify those standards to do so. That means creating trucker jackets and jeans with Levi's or tapping Chris Echevarria's Blackstock & Weber to make a pair of black penny loafers ideal for any occasion. Inline offerings like a casual play on a leather jacket made to look like a coaches jacket also impress. To fill out the rest of the wardrobe, the brand also provides its own relaxed fit chinos, oxford shirts, and hoodies that can easily be slotted into anyone's outfit rotation.

JJJJound isn't making boring clothes. It's perfecting the everyman's wardrobe.—Mike DeStefano

Standout Moments: A trio of regionally exclusive Air Max 95s accompanied by memorable shock drops and cinematic commercials directed by Walid Labri

In February, Corteiz's logo was projected on the side of Niketown London. This announcement for a collaboration with a major sportswear brand marked the first time many were introduced to Corteiz worldwide, but it was a longtime coming for Corteiz founder Clint 419 and his die-hard supporters.

Five years after launching Corteiz, he used its biggest collaboration to date to show the world how strong its cult following really is. Corteiz's Nike Air Max 95s were unveiled through a cinematic ad directed by Walid Labri, came in three colorways, and weren't just released at random sneaker stores. Instead, Clint asked his fans to come to a soccer field in London and win a crossbar challenge to secure a pair of "Gutta Greens." He shepherded a mob of New Yorkers to run from Penn Station all the way to a small bodega in the Lower East Side to buy a pair of "Pink Beams" off the deli counter before cops attempted to shut it down. The drop for Corteiz's "Les Bleus" in Paris was so chaotic that it reportedly led to the Deputy Mayor of Paris to call off similar drops from occurring in the future.

Despite an outstanding Nike collaboration, Corteiz's supporters have been skeptical of the brand's longevity this year. Many questioned if Clint would move on from just releasing cargo pants, T-shirts, and sweatpants with Alcatraz logos. But their most recent drop made it clear that Clint's vision is only getting bigger. It was an assortment that included denim jeans and jackets, reflective waterproof jackets with taped seams, camouflage mohair sweaters, and knit fleece zip-ups. If you’ve seen the new Corteiz pieces Dave and Central Cee have been teasing, it's clear that Corteiz hasn't peaked yet. It's still on its path to ruling the world.—Lei Takanashi

Standout Moments: Collaborations with Carhartt WIP, No Vacancy Inn, and Erykah Badu, presenting its Fall/Winter 2023 collection in Japan

If you think the luxury world is ready to push streetwear to the side, just look at what Francesco Risso has been doing with Marni and you may change your mind.

The Italian luxury brand started its year off strong with the announcement of a collaboration with Carhartt WIP that saw the Italian luxury brand reinterpret classic workwear pieces like canvas jackets and double-knee pants with bold floral prints. The sets were popular among the NBA's crop of stylish players like PJ Tucker and Karl-Anthony Towns. It was followed up by a collection with creative collective No Vacancy Inn perfect for the summertime, highlighted by crocheted items that included striped hoodies and Marni's popular mules alongside denim pieces covered in colorful island-inspired embroidery. Its latest was a capsule with Erykah Badu highlighted by patchwork blazers constructed of mismatched materials, striped knit capes, and Marni-fied versions of Badu's signature top hats. The legendary singer also wore a fringe white gown complete with hand-sewn beads and crystals designed by Marni to the 2023 Met Gala.

When it came to the runway, Risso traveled to Tokyo to present a strong Fall/Winter 2023 collection. The presentation was broken up into yellow, red, white, and black sections. Each was home to its own mix of balloon-like mohair sweaters, boxy blazers, and a liberal number of polka dots that perfectly balanced the brand's whimsical approach to clothing with high-level execution.

Marni has gained a more mainstream audience as of late with its rainbow-colored mohair sweaters and furry Sabot mules. But don't write off Marni as a trendy luxury brand that will fade away soon. Diving into its full offering will make you realize just how good it really is. –Mike DeStefano

Standout Moments: Holding its first fashion show at the Hollywood Bowl, teasing its Adidas collaboration

A designer's first runway show is a watershed moment. Many times, it is their grand introduction into the fashion world that can help establish their name for years to come. For Jerry Lorenzo, he's already established his name. For the past 10 years, Fear of God has helped sportswear infiltrate the luxury conversation with its earth-toned sweats and modernize traditional menswear with its slouchy-yet-sophisticated suiting. Make no mistake about it, Lorenzo is one of the biggest names in menswear today. And he's gotten here without ever putting on a proper runway show. He could have easily held his big debut in Paris or Milan, placing himself on a schedule among the biggest names in fashion, and he’d belong there. But he took a different route. He went home. More specifically, he went to the Hollywood Bowl, a venue that hadn't hosted a fashion show in 30 years.

The presentation was something to behold, complete with a moving opening performance from Sampha, a cameo from Pusha T to rap his "Feel the Love" verse, and a full fireworks display to close things out as Lorenzo took his final bow. The spectacle didn't take away from the clothes, the latest examples of Lorenzo's modern approach to luxury like suede coats with ropes cinching the waist, and boxy yellow blazers that provided pops of color amid Fear of God's usually earthy palette. Lorenzo also teased pieces from his long-awaited Fear of God Athletics collection with Adidas like a basketball sneaker and baggy shorts with Three Stripes detailing. Expect to see them roll out before year's end.

It's easy to get preoccupied by Lorenzo's ubiquitous Essentials line, his more affordable offering that continues to have its own evolution by introducing new silhouettes like terry cloth polos in addition to its fan-favorite sweats. Individuals of his stature accept jobs at established luxury houses when they reach a certain height in their career. Lorenzo seems to have chosen a different path. He's building his own. —Mike DeStefano

Standout Moments: Introducing a collaboration with Martine Rose, adding to its collection of collabs with partners like Nike and Our Legacy

When you have been around for as long as Stüssy has, it can be a challenge to keep customers excited about what you’re doing. Every season, Stüssy has found a way to appease its longtime fans, while simultaneously attracting younger consumers new to the brand.

A big piece of this has been the brand's smart collaborations. With Nike, it isn't just pumping out new colorways of Dunk Lows or Air Force 1s. It worked on more unconventional pairs like the Air Penny 2 and Vandal. It tapped the internet's favorite Swedish label Our Legacy for multiple capsules consisting of upcycled gear built for the California coastline like linen beach pants and casual striped suiting. Building off of its well-received collab with Dries Van Noten in 2022, Stüssy decided to tap another big name in the fashion world. This time, it was London designer Martine Rose for a drop centered around car culture complete with a furry leopard print steering wheel cover and floor mats stamped with everyone's favorite 8-ball logo.

Stüssy's inline collections also impressed, thanks to more of the excellent cut and sew pieces that have included reversible quilted vests with exotic prints on the opposite side and a cooler twist on a bomber jacket made of linen. If you’re just looking for a classic logo T-shirt or hoodies, don't fret, they always keep them on deck in an array of colors. Stüssy is a brand that could easily rest on its laurels. Instead, it's still building upon its legacy. It's no wonder it has been able to stay relevant for 40-plus years. Don't expect it to fade away soon.–Mike DeStefano

Standout Moments: Cotton Wreath Sweatsuits, an ongoing collaboration with Levi's, and a collection celebrating Tupac's style with Our Legacy

Denim Tears’ first drop this year was gray and black sweatsuits featuring the brand's signature "Cotton Wreath" motif. The drop sold out within a minute and the sweatsuits didn't make a return until June, when Tremaine Emory revealed they would be restocked at two dry cleaners in New York and Los Angeles for one day only. What ensued was pandemonium over sweats on both coasts. While the Los Angeles pop-up was hectic, cops ended up shutting down the pop-up in New York City, where supporters lined up overnight for a chance to cop.

"For some sweatsuits?" "For Denim Tears?" These were the questions folks on the internet had after sharing footage of crowds nearly trampling each other to get inside a small dry cleaning spot in Downtown Manhattan. But over the past four years, Denim Tears became so popular because it's committed to its message.

After releasing a capsule dedicated to telling the story of Ming the Tiger of Harlem at the end of 2022, Emory set his sights on Leimert Park this year by collaborating with the Black-owned skateboard label Neighbors, an African Diaspora Skate Shop'' within a historically Black neighborhood in Los Angeles that's currently battling gentrification. The collaboration poked fun at Emory's own involvement with Supreme by releasing "Tremaine Can't Skate" T-shirts—a riff off those Plain Gravy T-shirts from the aughts calling out Skateboard P.

Emory followed this up by collaborating with Our Legacy and Tupac Shakur's estate to create a collection that didn't just print Tupac's face on T-shirts. Instead, Denim Tears took the opportunity to celebrate the rapper's iconic style and produced a cut and sew collection that included leather vests, printed button-up shirts, hockey jerseys, boots, and velvet suits. That collection, along with the release of hand-braided Japanese flannels, shows that Denim Tears has larger aspirations than just capitalizing on the success of its Cotton Wreath T-shirts and hoodies. While the hype for Denim Tears’ cotton wreath merch might make the brand feel played out to some, remember that those wreaths planted the seeds for the brand's foundation. And only greatness will sprout from that soil.—Lei Takanashi

Standout Moments: Heaven x Stray Rats x Deftones, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind collaboration, Anna Sui x Heaven Fairy Wings Reissue

Heaven by Marc Jacobs is just as much an experience as it is a brand. It's an IRL and URL fantasyland for anyone with a penchant for ‘90s nostalgia. At its core, it's a glimpse into the niche obsessions of Marc Jacobs and Ava Nirui (the brand's designer), like the 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the alt-metal band Deftones, both of which they’ve launched collaborative collections with this year.

Off the strength of Jacobs’ connections and Nirui's entrenchment in the digital subculture Heaven resides in, the brand has been able to stay fresh by collaborating with alternative fashion houses, up-and-coming designers, directors, and artists. The brand started off the year strong with their Kiko Kostadinov collaboration, which referenced early-Marc Jacobs plaid prints and KK-inspired silhouettes like a patchwork two piece suit adorned with its signature star emblem. In March, Anna Sui reimagined the infamous fairy wings from her Spring 1997 collection, reissuing them in bright colorways with "heaven" scrawled on the wings with glitter. And of course, their casting remains on point, snagging big names like Michael Imperioli, Lil Uzi Vert, and Michèle Lamy that result in viral moments whenever a new campaign drops.

The Heaven x Stray Rats x Deftones collection is arguably their most notable collaboration to date. Before anything dropped, the brand kicked off the collection with a surprise show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg where Deftones and Yves Tumor performed. The capsule itself paid homage to the beloved band from Sacramento, California with the grungy flair of Heaven and Stray Rats. Its Around The Fur album cover was laser printed on wide leg jeans and White Pony artwork was stitched into knit sweaters and shrunken down to fit onto pins. You could even cop some of the band's CDs on Heaven's site.

Heaven is a Y2K fever dream made for the digital age. —Alessandra Maldonado

Standout Moments: Fall 2023 Pitti Uomo collection, Kendrick Lamar wearing full Martine Rose look at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards, and being named guest creative director at Clarks’

Although Martine Rose's profile has grown over the last few years, her design proposition hasn't really changed. She's consistent, using her British-Jamaican background and south London upbringing to guide her collections, which feel anthropological and specific. She typically mines ‘90s club culture, hooliganism, dancehall, and UK B-boys when designing her work, but makes it feel fresh and desirable season after season.

Just take earlier this year, when Rose was named guest designer at Pitti Uomo, an achievement in menswear that usually indicates a brand is culturally relevant and commercially viable. She leaned into the refinement that Florence and Pitti Uomo are known for, but without losing her very cool point of view or her humor. She showed tailored boiler suits with a dry cleaning tag on the sleeve, coats with rounded, hunchback-esque shoulders, sporty jackets styled over classic collared shirts accentuated with a tie, and a bubblegum pink, Michelin Man-inspired puffer jacket with matching faux fur details. Are these looks for everyone? No. But that's the entire point. And it's the reason why artists like Kendrick Lamar, who wore a full Martine Rose look from that collection to the Grammys, and Rihanna, who recently wore that pink puffer coat while running around Tokyo, gravitate to her pieces.

Brands want to align with her as well. Just this year she's released collaborations with Stüssy, and Clarks has brought her on as its first ever guest creative director—she will design three pairs of shoes for the brand that will debut at her London Men's Fashion Week show this summer. Her collaboration with Nike that kicked off in 2019 is also still going strong. A blue and purple colorway of her Shox-inspired slip-ons inspired by soccer goalie jerseys debuted during her Pitti Uomo show and was later seen on Kendrick's feet at the Grammys. And while she didn't land the position, her being an alleged front-runner for the Louis Vuitton men's artistic director position, which went to Pharrell, shows how significant and influential her brand is. So no, Martine Rose hasn't changed, but the industry is catching up to her brilliance.—Aria Hughes

Standout Moments: A collection guest-designed by KidSuper and appointing Pharrell as the creative director of menswear

Since Virgil Abloh's death in 2021, the big question on a lot of people's minds has been how Louis Vuitton would enter its next era after Abloh's monumental run. This year, the French luxury house finally started that process.

In January, Louis Vuitton presented its Fall/Winter 2023 collection co-designed by Colm Dillane of KidSuper. It marked the first time the brand brought on a guest designer for a runway collection. His collection played off Abloh's boyhood narrative but managed to still create a distinct moment for the brand. Dillane's art and tongue-in-cheek taste for product produced looks that were both elegant and playful. A twist on Louis Vuitton's luggage included "Letter bags" designed to look like a stack of letters held together by string. Other looks blended Dillane's whimsical artwork with LV's monogram on trench coats and keepall bags. While the show didn't feel as impactful as previous collections designed by Abloh, it was refreshing to finally see a different perspective at Louis Vuitton.

KidSuper's collection for the house was just a teaser for another completely unforeseen move by Louis Vuitton this year. In February, the house revealed that Pharrell Williams would become its new creative director of menswear. It was a decision that shocked many within the fashion industry. While it was a watershed moment for hip-hop's influence on fashion, others interpreted Williams’ appointment as a marketing ploy tied to a big celebrity.

Since the announcement, Pharrell and Louis Vuitton have been hinting at what to expect from the debut collection. At Pharrell's Something in the Water festival in April, a 30-foot high sand castle made from 366 Malle-Haute trunks was erected on the beach and Virginia-inspired merch was sold. Pharrell has also been spotted in pieces such as a leather brown monogrammed-covered motorcycle jacket that give us a sign of what we may see on the runway later this month. The world must wait to see how he does. But for now, his appointment remains one of 2023's biggest fashion surprises.—Lei Takanashi


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