Fashion Disruptors of 2018: From Hedi Slimane, Kim Jones, Virgil Abloh, Ambush To Rihanna

Written on December 20, 2018 by Diandra Israhmaniar


In 2018 we had some major fashion disruptors, from the change of creative directors to Rihanna’s new lingerie brand that revamped the whole fashion industry.

GABSTER Fashion Consulting has rounded up this year’s fashion disruptors. So, keep reading to look back on this year in fashion.

Hedi Slimane as Celine’s New Creative Director


Last year, Phoebe Philo announced that she was leaving Celine after a decade and on February 1, Hedi Slimane officially joined Celine as artistic, creative and image director. This sparked some questions, especially because he is best known for menswear, as he created Dior Homme in 2000 and later in 2012 returned to Yves Saint Laurent where he was in charge of womenswear and menswear and renamed the line Saint Laurent.

Just like what he did with Saint Laurent, in September, Celine debuted its new logo that is influenced by the original design from the 1960s with a modernist typography from the 1930s resulting in the accent on the ‘E’ being removed and the spacing between the letters tightened to create a balanced and simplified logo. This change received mixed opinions from people all over social media.

Hedi Slimane debuted his first collection for Celine during the Spring 2019 Ready-to-Wear show in Paris and Celine fans were not happy about it. For some, the problem was that Slimane had drastically changed the aesthetic and is very similar to his work at Saint Laurent.

Kim Jones as Dior Homme’s New Artistic Director


Kim Jones left Louis Vuitton in January 2018 and joined Dior Homme in April, replacing Kris Van Asshe as artistic director. Because of his streetwear credibility, Instagram followers and famous friends, Dior Homme was certain that he was the best choice to revamp the brand.

For his debut collection, Jones took over the Garde républicaine in Paris during the Spring 2019 menswear show. The show featured many Dior references such as a bee motif, a fabric intended to represent the former studio of founder Christian Dior, a rose pattern honoring Dior’s flower of - as well as, new silhouettes and collaborations with Alyx for the accessories and Kaws for the decoration. A huge number of highly influential people attended the show and even on the runway designers including Yoon Ahn were present.

Dior Homme or now called Dior Men has significantly been going through a transformation. For the Pre-fall 2019 show, several brands including Dior Men turned to Tokyo. There, Jones assigned Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama to create a 40-foot female robot to sit on stage. The show was very futuristic with metallic jackets and polished metal saddle bags on the runway. But, he said that his inspiration derived from the history of Dior itself and Japan. This show was another successful show that was attended by many influential people and received many positive feedbacks from people all over social media.

Virgil Abloh as Louis Vuitton’s Menswear Artistic Director


In March 2018, Virgil Abloh, the founder of Off-White and creative director for Kanye West was announced to be the next artistic director of menswear at Louis Vuitton, replacing Kim Jones. With his good reputation in streetwear, Louis Vuitton was sure that he will make Louis Louis Vuitton more relevant to the millennial generation.

Virgil Abloh debuted his first collection for Louis Vuitton at the Men’s Spring Summer 2019 Paris Fashion Week. His goal is for people to understand the new vocabulary and explanation of ideas, at which dictionaries were given for each attendee. It started with “accessomorphosis”, which describes the transformation of an accessory into a garment.This formed the basis of the 56-look collection.

For the next Louis Vuitton collection, Virgil Abloh confirmed that the brand will celebrate Michael Jackson. No further information has been announced.

Ambush’ Breakthrough


AMBUSH® is a Tokyo based brand by VERBAL and YOON that began as an experimental line of jewelry. The iconic trademark POW!® motif in particular received media coverage around the world. Later, they evolved into designing unisex collections. The brand made its Paris debut in 2015 with VERBAL & YOON being listed as two of Business of Fashion’s Top 500 people influencing the global fashion industry in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

In 2017 AMBUSH® was selected as one of the top 8 finalists for the LVMH PRIZE. Their success has led them to several collaborations that include Louis Vuitton (Kim Jones), sacai, UNDERCOVER, Off-White, SHU UEMURA, and Nike.

In 2018, AMBUSH® presented the brand’s first fashion show at Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo. Later in April, Kim Jones appointed YOON as jewelry designer for Dior Homme and her first creations were debuted with the SS2019 collection in Paris. In November, Nike and Ambush announced their collaboration which became highly anticipated by their fans.

Rihanna’s SAVAGE x FENTY


In March 2018, rumors spread about Rihanna expanding her Fenty empire into a lingerie line. And soon after, Rihanna posted campaign teasers of the Savage x Fenty collection, and many were excitedly waiting for the launch.

The first Savage x Fenty drop was on May 11 with 90 pieces of lingerie, sleepwear, accessories and four capsule collections. The core collection, “On the Reg”, includes everyday essentials like T-shirt bras and underwear. The “Damn” range is all about sassy bodysuits, suspenders and more. Then there’s “Black Widow” which is more “risqué and ultra sexy”, and the “Xccesories”, which hips, marabou-covered handcuffs, and lacy eye masks. “Cute and edgy can live in the same collection. The line dares you to try something new while completely remaining authentic to yourself,” she explains.

Inclusivity has been a benchmark of all Rihanna’s previous works and so is Savage x Fenty. The bras are available from a 32A to 44DD, with lingerie, underwear and loungewear coming in sizes from XS to 3XL. The brand lives up to their motto of “savages come in all shapes and sizes” as they celebrate diversity.

Today’s market need exactly what the brand has been doing. Inclusivity. With the launch of Savage x Fenty, she has changed the lingerie game by proving that customers now want to see diversity in the campaign and branding so that they can relate more. Rather than the old lingerie branding, of using girls that meet the males’ expectations.