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by Rachel Stone
2012 was a big year in the fashion industry. There has been designer musical chairs and lawsuits gallore. Before the ball drops at midnight and we ring in 2013, let's take a look back at the biggest moments and how they've changed the fashion landscape.
Raf Simons Leaves Jil Sander
Back in February, Jil Sander set the tone for what would be a year of designer shift at major fashion houses, when they announced that Raf Simons was leaving the label and would be replaced by founding designer Jil Sander. The announcement was made just days before Simons showed his standout fall 2012 collection at Jil Sander and there are still no answers as to why the switch was made.
Stefano Pilati Leaves YSL
Just five days after the Raf Simons/Jil Sander bombshell was dropped, news of another major designer ousting surfaced. YSL confirmed the rumors that Stefano Pilati was exiting the company.
Hearst Gets Sued by Former Intern
Former Harper's Bazaar intern filed suit against Hearst, accusing them of violating state and federal wage and hour laws by not paying her when she was doing the work of a paid employee. Since then the suit has turned into a class action one, involving over 3,000 Hearst employees. The suit is still ongoing and has had greater ramifications for the publishing industry. Conde Nast has taken action and announced they would be enforcing stricter regulations for their internship program and mandatory mentorships.
Model Issues Rise to the Forefront
In February of this year, the The Model Alliance, a non-profit organization founded by Sara Ziff, officially launched with the goal of "helping models in the American fashion industry organize for safe, fair, and healthy standards in their workplace." Soon after, the CFDA released new guidelines which stipulated that, among other things, models would have to be ID'd, and those under the age of 16 should not walk the runway. While some major designers and agencies violated these guidelines, the modeling industry found a powerful ally in Vogue: In May, the 19 international editors of the magazine signed an agreement to never feature models that looked unhealthy or were under the age of 16.
Hedi Slimane Goes to YSL
Though Hedi Slimane was rumored to be taking the reigns at YSL even before Stefano Pilati officially left the company, it wasn't officially confirmed until a few weeks after Pilati left. At the time, PPR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer François-Henri Pinault said, "As one of the most important French fashion houses, Yves Saint Laurent today possesses formidable potential, which I am confident will be successfully harnessed and revealed through the vision of Hedi Slimane."
Raf Simons Confirmed at Dior!
After leaving YSL, Raf Simons was announced that he'd be succeeding John Galliano at Dior, after the position had been temporarily helmed by Bill Gaytten.
Yves Saint Laurent Becomes Saint Laurent
In June, another bombshell dropped: Yves Saint Laurent announced they'd be dropping the 'Yves' and would now be referred to merely as Saint Laurent. While Saint Laurent issued several reasonable explanations behind the rebranding strategy, some fashion lovers continue to be miffed. Plus, Hedi Slimane's debut collection and logo at the house showed to lackluster reviews.
Burch vs. Burch Lawsuit Gets Ugly
2012 was the battle of the exes for Tory Burch and ex-husband and business partner Chris Burch. When Chris launched new brand C. Wonder at the end of 2011, critics almost immediately claimed that he'd taken a little too much inspiration from ex-wife Tory's eponymous brand. Amidst rumors that Tory would sue Chris for violating intellectual property right laws, Chris surprised everyone by filing suit against Tory, claiming breach of contract and tortious interference. Tory promptly filed counterclaims which has led to a series of ongoing lawsuits that have gotten ugly and the situation has become more of a Page Six story than anything else.
Nicolas Ghesquiere Leaves Balenciaga
Balenciaga unexpectedly announced that Nicolas Ghesquiere would be leaving the brand, which he had helmed for over ten years.
Alexander Wang goes to Balenciaga
After much speculation, Alexander Wang was announced as Ghesquiere's successor. While the appointment was met with mixed feelings by many, several industry veterans came forward to voice their support for the designer.