This article was originally written for and published by The Fashion Law and edited by The Fashion Law founder/editor-in-chief, Julie Zerbo.From free agent creative directors and budding fashion models to K-Pop stars and young feminist icons, the fashion industry and its periphery is certainly not inhabited by one-trick ponies. As the industry becomes an increasingly diversified and globalized field, so too do its influencers. With that in mind, we looked to some of the most exciting forces of the moment and compiled a list of who you should keep your eyes on this year.
The Other Arnault
Meet 22-year-old Alexandre Arnault, son of Bernard Arnault, France’s richest man and the chairman of luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. After spending the majority of his youth under the radar, Arnault is starting to make a name for himself, which is certainly no easy feat given the success of his father and half-siblings, Delphine and Antoine, who both work for the family business.
As we have noted in prior articles, Korean pop stars, CL and G-Dragon, among others, are larger than life in Asia and online and their influence is not limited to music. No, fashion houses are increasingly identifying their power to affect sales and have taken to working with these two to reach the immense spending power of the Far East.
Chaelin Lee, who is best known by her stage name CL, is commonly spotted wearing edgy young brands like Vetements and Hood By Air, but is also known to support established houses like Chanel. Far from just a budding fashion icon, the “24-year-old megastar has her sights set on changing perceptions and inspiring girls worldwide,” per Paper magazine. She told the publication this year: “Girls in Asia are very obedient, shy, timid, quiet, but I can tell that it’s changing, and I want them to be stronger and tell them that it’s OK to be different. Being special is a luxury, and I don’t think we have that. Yet.” This, coupled with her impending solo album, which is due out any day now, will surely keep CL in the spotlight for much of the upcoming year.
Also consider her male counterpart, G-Dragon, who is not just one of the biggest names in Korea, thanks to his membership in boy band, BigBang, the 28-year old, is nothing short of a style icon. He rather notoriously got first dibs on Hedi Slimane’s first menswear collection for Saint Laurent and even played a part in Chanel’s casino-themed runway show not too long ago. He has also taken to collaborating with a number of brands as of late – from Guiseppe Zanotti to Los Angeles-based streetwear mainstay DRx Romanelli, among others.
As these two embark on solo projects – both in fashion (by way of ad campaigns and collaborative projects) and in music – their star power is likely ongoing to increase in the West. So, be sure to take note – even though you will probably not be able to avoid it.
Kaia Gerber: And in what will seem like a hypocritical addition to the list (given the previous praise for a model for making it on her own, without a famous name or massive following), meet Kaia Gerber. She’s Cindy Crawford’s 14-year-old daughter. Before we write her off as merely a celebrity spawn, let’s consider that Gerber has legitimate supermodel, I mean 1990’s SUPER model, genes. As such, Kaia was born to model. Her career became official in July 2015, when Gerber signed with IMG Models, and she has since appeared in editorials for Vogue Italia, Interview, CR Fashion Book, and Teen Vogue, among other publications. We would certainly be the first to tell you if this was a case of nepotism gone awry, but that simply isn’t the case. Need proof? Take one look at her.
Lily-Rose Depp: With three movies due out this year and a Chanel campaign already under her belt (the house’s Pearl eyewear collection ad), Los Angeles-based Lily-Rose Depp is proving to be more than just a famous name. Chanel creative director, Karl Lagerfeld, certainly seems to think so, who said of the 16-year old: “She is stunning, she’s a young girl from a new generation with all the qualities of a star.” Last year alone, Depp began filming on Planetarium, a Rebecca Zlotowski-directed film and in Stephanie Di Giusto’s directorial debutThe Dancer, in which she plays Isadora Duncan.
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