It’s been a long 12 months, and before we kick 2018 to the curb, we’re looking back at all of the most memorable, game-changing fashion and beauty things that went down. Follow along with us as we look back at the year in review.
In the age of Instagram and e-commerce, seasonal ad campaigns are much more than a marketing exercise for fashion brands: When done right, they can provide consumers and social media followers with months of inspirational content and a steady stream of shoppable imagery. While some brands, like Alexander Wang, have switched their campaigns from a spring/fall release schedule in order to coincide with product drops, others have continued upping the ante with their seasonal ads by either taking storytelling to the next level or enlisting up-and-coming talent to help execute their visions.
This year saw plenty of memorable campaigns that not only showcased clothing and accessories on offer — they told deeper stories of the brands and designers behind them. For example, CFDA Award winner Kerby Jean-Raymond used his fall “American, Also” series of images and video clips to bring attention to Black individuals and communities from Chicago’s Southside, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Brooklyn’s Brownsville. Brandon Maxwell, a born-and-bred Texan, featured his octogenarian grandmother Louise Johnson — a perennial muse for his collections — in his eponymous label’s Fall 2018 ads. Victoria Beckham, whose public persona isn’t exactly based around her sense of humor, chose to recreate the iconic 2008 Marc Jacobs campaign in which she is stuffed inside a giant branded shopping bag for her first ready-to-wear ad, 10 years later.
Of course, there’s also plenty of imagery here that caught our eye for its beauty or simplicity alone. Acne Studios cast Cindy Crawford for a solo shoot at Cadillac Ranch in Texas, in which she modeled the Swedish brand’s Blå Konst denim line in an homage to cowboy culture and the American wild west. Alessandro Michele gave us a glimpse into his boundless imagination for fall with a shoot that captured models surrounded by wigs, fine china, collectable toys, mounted butterflies and grandfather clocks, resulting in images that essentially made hoarding look chic.
Clare Waight Keller debuted her vision for Givenchy with an accessories-focused spring campaign shot by Steven Meisel; Raf Simons gave us what would ultimately be his last creative images for Calvin Klein in 2018, reflecting his esoteric concept of the American dream through the photography of Willy Vanderperre. This year marked a big milestone for Versace, as it was acquired by Michael Kors in September for $2.12 billion, but it also broke a fashion record with its Fall 2018 campaign: Starring 54 models standing side by side, the Italian house claims it is the longest advertising image to ever exist.
As the year comes to a close, we’ve chosen our 29 favorite fashion ads from 2018, which you can browse in the gallery below.