As the fashion carousel spun ever faster, designer labels experimented with a direct to consumer selling strategy. Instead of the usual six-month wait for clothes to arrive in store, Tom Ford, Burberry Prorsum and Tommy Hilfiger were among those that enabled consumers to order their Spring 2017 collections online directly after their runway shows. "I get very confused by the idea of seasons," Burberry's Christopher Bailey told Vogue in August. "I don't know if we live like that any more…"
Apple's fiercely loyal users nearly lost their minds when the tech company announced its next iPhone model would be produced without a standard headphone jack. Instead, a dongle would be provided to connect traditional headphones or customers could purchase the brand's new cord-free AirPod ear buds. Apple's switch makes room for new technologies in the iPhone, like improved camera functions. There's no denying the power of the #selfie.
EDITORS VS. BLOGGERS
A September post on Vogue.com about the highs and lows of Milan Fashion Week bluntly put the front-row presence of fashion bloggers in the latter category. "Note to bloggers who change head-to-toe, paid-to-wear outfits every hour: Please stop. Find another business. You are heralding the death of style," wrote Sally Singer, the magazine's creative digital director. Never afraid of a little click-generating controversy, the blogger community bit back, with the well-followed likes of Susie Bubble, Bryan Boy and Shea Marie criticizing the post for its hypocrisy in ignoring the role of advertisements in supporting editorial content and for being unsupportive of an entrepreneurial spirit among young women.
The youngest member of the Jenner-Kardashian clan spent 2016 building up Kylie Cosmetics, an online beauty empire estimated to have brought in $10-million (U.S.) in sales. With 81.2 million Instagram followers, the 19-year-old is also the most viewed person on Snapchat, the video-sharing platform she uses to announce new product drops that regularly sell out in under a minute. Of course, no Kardashian enterprise would be complete without its share of controversy. Jenner has been accused of stealing ideas from Ukrainian makeup artist Vlada Haggerty and of using the same formula in her $29 Kylie Lip Kits as her manufacturer ColourPop incorporates into its own $6 version.
In a long overdue moment of validation, 2016 was the year that Canada's nonchalant cool was acknowledged around the world. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made several best-dressed lists, including Vanity Fair's and GQ's, while Sophie Grégoire Trudeau brought a global spotlight to homegrown designers like Lucian Matis, Mikael D and Dean Davidson. In Milan, photographer Petra Collins hopped to the other side of the lens as a muse to designer-du-jour Alessandro Michele at Gucci. New York-based Canadian designer Tanya Taylor became a favourite of Michelle Obama (her pieces have also been spotted on Sophie Grégoire Trudeau and the Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge), while Toronto twins Cailli and Sam Beckerman blew up Instagram with their colour-happy, Moschino-filled feed @beckermanblog.
THIS WEEK'S STYLE HAPPENINGS
- Mississauga shopping centre Square One has recently added the GTA’s first standalone Urban Decay store to its offerings. In addition to availability at Sephora and Shoppers Drug Mart locations, the brand opened a location at Vancouver’s Metropolis at Metrotown in September. Known for its cult eyeshadow palettes and primers, the cruelty-free makeup brand is bringing its full California cool retail experience to the Toronto area just in time for the holidays. Visit www.shopsquareone.com for more information.
- Real-estate developer Peter Freed announced the purchase of Toronto Fashion Week from IMG on Monday. Joining Freed as the president of Toronto Fashion Week is IMG alumna Carolyn Quinn, who was previously the director of fashion events and properties for IMG Canada. With a goal to “create a global forum for fashion, retail, arts, entertainment and culture to be anchored in Yorkville,” the team will release more details about its direction and programming in 2017.
- Montreal bicycle-based meal delivery service Fooducoin is hosting a last-minute get-together to celebrate the holidays. On Dec. 23 at 6 p.m., join the organization at Galerie le 1040 (1040 rue Marie-Anne) to sample some festive eats and get to know their gourmet partners from the Plateau and Rosemont neighbourhoods, including vegan bakery Rose Madeleine and waffle house Engaufrez-vous. For more information, visit www.fooducoin.com.