Most Creative Designer Rankings


According to the “Most Creative and Trend-Setting Contemporary Designer Rankings” as determined by buyers from influential speciality stores in Japan and directors of department stores, the rankings of international brands has seen dramatic change. Demna Gvasalia of Vetements and Balenciaga, and Alessandro Michele who leads Gucci have received votes in both menswear and womenswear fashion as the top two major designers leading current rankings.


The SENKEN SHIMBUN Co., Ltd. publishes this designer ranking twice each year. The paper conducted a survey for this ranking after receiving the announcements for the Autumn/Winter womenswear 2016-17, the Spring/Summer menswear 2017, the pre-spring 2017, and the resort collections 2017.


The international womenswear category saw the most change. Céline’s Phoebe Philo, the female designer who was dominating the market with her expression of practical style for women had continued to occupy the top spot for six years since 2010, but fell down to fourth place. Rising to the number 1 spot in her place is Demna Gvasalia of Vetements, a. Having attracted attention for his looser-fitting style that has a background in street fashion, he’s been gaining popularity for his presence as a leader of the next generation. Balenciaga, which is also led by Demna Gvasalia, has moved into the top rank to take third place.


Taking second place in womenswear is Gucci’s Alessandro Michele. He’s been recognized for “design that significantly impacts even the mass market.” Many comments noted that, “He has greatly changed the trends devoted to normcore, and has helped provide renewed recognition of the appeal of fashion such as enjoyment of ornaments.”


Together with Michele and Gvasalia, Raf Simons has continued to stay in the top ranks in the international menswear category since the previous season. He is attracting attention for entering the top 10 young designers in the menswear category. Russia’s Gosha Rubchinskiy, who is supported by Comme des Garcons for production and PR, and the African male and female duo who have produced Niuku which is rising in popularity in Paris, and Glenn Martens of Y/Project announced in the Paris Fashion Week have been included in the ranks. Meanwhile, Saint Laurent, which had been in first place up to last season, fell outside the rankings this time.


As the brands in the international category have been changing significantly, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons is the focus of attention for again ranking among the top labels in both menswear and womenswear. The company’s stance was featured in comments that noted how Comme des Garcons is, “continuing to create and innovate while being consistent from collections to sales,” and is “vigorously engaged in discovery of and cooperation with designers and artists.” Since Comme des Garcons has management bases overseas as well, we had them answer the survey as an international brand.


In the domestic category, there have not been any major changes in either menswear or womenswear fashion. The top three brands in the womenswear section are the same as in previous season. In menswear, Facetasm’s Hiromichi Ochiai, who remained as a finalist for the LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize, moved up to second place.


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