ClothingGamesStylethe best of 2018

The 10 Biggest Fashion Trends of 2018

The 10 Biggest Fashion Trends of 2018

As this yr winds down, we’ve recapped its highlights to deliver you the most effective of 2018 in style, sneakers, music, films, and extra.

One yr on, and the style business’s ever-bubbling cauldron has cooked up a smorgasbord of new tendencies. The intersection of streetwear, trend, and sneakers — the Highsnobiety “sweet spot” — is a continuously altering panorama, and within the age of social media, manufacturers, developments, and items can stay and die in a heartbeat. The second one thing is in, it’s throughout Instagram after which it’s gone once more (pour one out for 2014’s all-red sneaker mania).

With 2018 drawing to an in depth, it’s time to mirror on the yr’s largest tendencies, and gaze into the Highsnobiety crystal ball to see how lengthy they’ll be sticking round for.

Listed here are the 10 largest style developments of 2018.

Model activism

After the memes and web tradition that outlined 2017, this yr noticed the business begin to make a much-needed shift towards weightier issues.

Nike broke the web when it unveiled Colin Kaepernick as one of the faces of its “Just Do It” marketing campaign. It was divisive however confirmed how Nike is listening to the views of its largely younger city demographic. Even when the transfer prompted some to chop the Swooshes out of their socks, Nike figured the professionals outweighed the cons and was vindicated when its share worth skyrocketed and Advert Age named it “Marketer of the Year.”

Patagonia, already an instance to each clothes firm on the planet, donated $10 million of its tax minimize to environmental organizations.

Patagonia’s affect could be felt in Noah and 1017 ALYX 9SM. This yr, Noah raised cash for Breast Most cancers Prevention Companions and youth schooling group Era Citizen, and made an elite sport extra inclusive. ALYX debuted a absolutely upcycled line of tees and hoodies and linked up with accountable e-commerce platform SARDIN.

Elsewhere, Supreme teamed up with Richard Prince on an anti-President Trump tee that raised cash for Downtown for Democracy, a political motion committee that promotes change by means of the humanities. Balenciaga, in the meantime, unveiled a collaboration with the World Meals Programme at its FW18 present in Paris.

Balenciaga FW18

Getty Photographs / Victor VIRGILE / Gamma-Rapho

However whereas Supreme and Balenciaga’s donations to worthy causes are laudable, they’ve stored their lips sealed on the ins and outs of their manufacturing, making it anybody’s guess whether or not they’re making strikes behind the scenes to attenuate their environmental impression.

Crystal Ball Says: Regardless of how honest this wave of model activism is, the style business is in dire want of actual, significant change, so let’s hope that is simply a style of issues to return.


After what appeared like an eternity of luxurious streetwear, manufacturers returning to energy dressing, tailoring, and formal clothes felt inevitable. Demna Gvasalia’s SS19 Balenciaga present pointed the best way. The present was darkish and sinister however rooted in energy dressing.

Hedi Slimane brought on uproar when he wiped away Phoebe Philo’s aesthetic at Celine, changing it together with his personal suit-heavy tribute to LA and Paris. Virgil Abloh’s historic debut at Louis Vuitton was heavy on tailoring, too. Kanye West went viral in August when he wore one of Abloh’s fits to 2 Chainz’s wedding ceremony.

Raf Simons, who has been transforming streetwear aesthetics for many years, proclaimed the top of high-fashion hoodies at a Spring/Summer time 2019 Paris present anchored in couture-grade tailoring, whereas his work at Calvin Klein has been polished, with slim silhouettes, shiny satin shirts, and cowboy-influenced styling (extra on that later).

Away from the large luxurious homes, there’s been a prep revival. Manufacturers resembling Rowing Blazers and Noah took us again to Ivy League-style dressing, and it’s catching on, breaking away from menswear’s hysterical chase for newness and permitting guys to only concentrate on what appears good.

Crystal Ball Says: The luxe-street cliché has been dragging on for what looks like perpetually, so you possibly can anticipate that the counter-movement might be with us for some time, too. The go well with has been the cornerstone of males’s type since day one, in order that’ll solely give the nu-tailoring wave much more traction.


The rise of the “scumbro” noticed millennial type icons Kanye West, Justin Bieber, and Jonah Hill dip into tie-dye tees. Hill, who has been low-key killing it for years, was a huge champion of the look, including a tie-dyed 1992 Lithuanian basketball-via-Grateful Lifeless tee to his rotation.

Few might have predicted that the Deadhead look would turn into a streetwear must-have, however trippy LA labels such because the Lifeless-adjacent On-line Ceramics and Advisory Board Crystals created some of the yr’s most convincing graphic items. The latter even took the splattered look past hippie-rock, designing tour gear for Migos.

And it wasn’t simply clothes that acquired tie-dyed. On-line Ceramics dyed a pair of OFF-WHITE Nikes for John Mayer (who tie-dyed a Supreme x Louis Vuitton tee himself final yr). Pharrell Williams’ adidas kicks took a dip, too, whereas UBIQ dunked a pair of Virgil Abloh’s Air Prestos in espresso.

Crystal Ball Says: You possibly can assure that the menswear illuminati may have moved on to one thing else this time subsequent yr, even when the Hollywood scumbro aesthetic stays. That doesn’t imply it is best to throw your dye-splattered items away with them, although.

Utility flex

Menswear has all the time had a component of Prime Trumps about it, with guys geeking out and one-upping their buddies with superior materials and wacky options. That’s how manufacturers corresponding to ACRONYM and Stone Island developed such cult followings.

This yr, tech improvements advanced away from inner options like taped seams and breathable membranes towards exterior parts that took innovation into full-blown flex territory.

Concurrently flashy and utilitarian items like multi-pocket vests and path sneakers have been massive, whereas 1017 ALYX 9SM’s chest rig turned a streetwear must-have, with the label’s fetish-inspired items additionally gaining traction in rap and style circles. A-COLD-WALL* debuted a tech-heavy Nike collab, whereas up-and-comer Blackmerle blew our minds with its next-level strategy to utility.

Peak utility flex got here within the form of Supreme’s FW18 collaboration with The North Face, which included GORE-TEX and Cordura. Whereas GORE-TEX and Cordura have been The North Face staples for years, Supreme encapsulated the utility flex vibe by plastering GORE-TEX and Cordura logos everywhere in the assortment.

Crystal Ball Says: There’ll all the time be a component of competitiveness to males’s type, and the business’s obsession with technological breakthroughs gained’t be slowing down anytime quickly, both. Even when the utility belts and visual branding parts go, tech-heavy gear will all the time have a draw for style-conscious guys.

That Prada shirt

When Miuccia Prada debuted her home’s SS11 assortment, it featured a bevy of items adorned in bananas and kick-started a banana-print craze, with the quick trend chains all piling in. It was only one instance of how Prada has been forward of the curve with its awkward, unorthodox aesthetics.

This yr, Prada reminded everybody of that reality, wanting again into its archive and reissuing some of its most iconic prints on side-by-side juxtaposed mash-up items.

Pusha-T, fashion daddy Jeff Goldblum, Migos’ Offset, and 032c trend director Marc Goehring have been all noticed sporting Prada’s 50-50 shirts, which turned the flex du jour on the style week road type circuit. The shirts value a bomb at $1,200 rising to an eye-watering $1,800 for the padded model, however that didn’t halt their march.

Prada’s resurgence hasn’t fairly matched the dizzying business success of Gucci and Balenciaga (but), however the model has been noticed on the backs of just about everybody this yr. A$AP Rocky and Kanye West are followers of the label’s relaunched Linea Rossa sportswear line, so don’t be stunned to see Prada in all places subsequent yr, too.

Crystal Ball Says: As a lot as we’re into something Prada-related, judging from how fast issues transfer lately, you possibly can guess Miuccia’s fashionable shirts will probably be historical past this time subsequent yr.

Pop-culture licensing

Road tradition is rooted in appropriation and bootlegging. It makes for enjoyable merchandise, nevertheless it’s not with out its authorized complications, like when, pre-FW17 collab, Louis Vuitton sued Supreme for its unofficial “tribute” to the home. Lately, the behavior is to skip the potential authorized hassle and as an alternative hook up legitimately, leading to some fairly random-seeming cultural collisions.

Gucci’s SEGA Sneaker

Highsnobiety / Julien Inform

This yr gave us SEGA linking up with Gucci and PUMA, and Chinatown Market licensing official smiley faces (an actual factor, apparently). H&M x Moschino x’d up with MTV and Disney. On the topic of MTV and cartoons, ’90s boneheads Beavis and Butt-Head ended up on an adidas skate shoe. NASA, in the meantime, was in all places, hooking up with Vans, IKEA, and Heron Preston. Sure, that NASA.

In excessive style, Raf Simons paid tribute to Jaws in his SS19 Calvin Klein 205W39NYC present, whereas Virgil Abloh recalled The Wizard of Ouncesin his debut Louis Vuitton menswear present.

Excessive style is pushed by ideas, so there was significance within the references. Simons has used his platform to discover hellish visions of Americana, whereas Abloh’s Ounceslinkup was, within the phrases of Highsnobiety editorial director Jian DeLeon, “a fitting analogy for how streetwear has usurped fashion’s old guard.”

Louis Vuitton SS19


This yr, because the underdog turned the institution, popular culture’s heavy hitters took discover, licensing their mental property on streetwear like they might stuffed toys and mugs. That’s nothing new — Peanuts has been a streetwear staple for years — however the measurement and frequency of the collabs recommend we’re reaching a brand new degree of road tradition commercialization.

Crystal Ball Says: There’s tons of cash to be produced from licensed collabs, so our predictions are that this one’s just the start.


Logos have been standing symbols for many years, however what was fascinating about 2018 was that manufacturers began to loosen their grip on their iconography, taking extra summary approaches to issues which are sometimes strict and intently guarded by company type guides and branding guidelines.

Fendi revived its iconic monogram after which mashed up its emblem with FILA’s on a runway-meets-the-street collab that took model synergy to new heights. COMME des GARÇONS, in the meantime, debuted CDG, an complete line of emblem items.

As talked about, Supreme used its The North Face collab to shout out material innovators Cordura and GORE-TEX, including producers into the logomania equation. OFF-WHITE additionally splattered GORE-TEX logos over efficiency items produced utilizing the legendary waterproofing materials.

In sneaker-land, Dior beneath Kim Jones turned its emblem right into a repeating monogram on Converse-esque sneakers, whereas Nike adorned its M2K Tekno and Air Max 1 “Flooded” in a number of branding hits. Peak Swoosh, although, got here at Virgil Abloh’s OFF-WHITE SS19 ladies’s present, which featured Frankenstein creations that stacked logos upon logos.

Crystal Ball Says: Emblem-tastic items are a no-brainer for our ’Gram-obsessed business. Probably we’ll discover style’s relationship with logos will solely evolve, not diminish.

The Wild West

The roadman, the lumberjack, and the rock star have all served as trend muses because the daybreak of the ’00s, however this yr designers seemed west for inspiration.

Like all menswear tropes, the cowboy is masculine by way of and thru, a rugged totem of occasions gone. Raf Simons reinvigorated the frontier look with slick boots and Western shirts in his Calvin Klein 205W39NYC collections, whereas Virgil Abloh debuted quote-laden cowboy boots (of course). Saint Laurent’s post-Hedi Slimane menswear additionally leaned into the Previous West.

Elsewhere, Helmut Lang actually put the phrase “COWBOY” on tees, and threw in ultra-luxe boots to match, whereas Instagram mega-star Luka Sabbat toyed closely with a Wild West look. All of this left us asking the query: Are cowboys the brand new type gods?

Crystal Ball Says: The cowboy wave has been pleasurable, positive, however it’s solely a matter of time earlier than designers transfer on to a brand new macho trope to placed on their moodboards.

Path sneakers

We’ve been singing the praises of path footwear for years, however in 2018, they hit the large time. A pure evolution of the chunky sneaker craze, the path aesthetic nonetheless places ugly issues in your ft, however with much less ridiculous silhouettes and extra ridiculous options.

Toggled bungee laces, grippy-as-hell sole models, GORE-TEX linings, and protecting outer shells are all staples for many who benefit from operating up mountains, and now they match our obsession with offensive aesthetics and excessive efficiency.

Salomon x The Damaged Arm XT-Four Sneaker

Highsnobiety / Asia Typek

adidas’ Terrex outside line linked up with KITH and White Mountaineering, whereas OG path model Salomon put out nice collabs with Parisian style vacation spot The Damaged Arm and wild hand-dyed numbers with Boris Bidjan Saberi. HOKA ONE ONE’s Engineered Clothes collab was additionally a strong contender for sneaker of the yr.

Nike, in the meantime, reached into its archive to reissue footwear from its cult ACG outside line, together with the Ruckel Ridge and Canine Mountain, whereas COMME des GARÇONS lent its contact to the ACG Air Mowabb.

Crystal Ball Says: The path aesthetic has been going robust for a couple of years now, and regardless of how nice the tech is behind it, there’s a robust probability that the look will ultimately go the best way of the NMD and Roshe Run (RIP, pour one out).


With an environmental disaster looming, the style business should radically alter course to decrease emissions and waste. That’s the considering behind upcycling. This yr, manufacturers giant and small began reusing previous supplies moderately than virgin fibers. A step in the suitable course, however one which must be taken to a business degree to really have an effect.

Matthew Williams of 1017 ALYX 9SM debuted ALYX VISUAL, a line of graphic items made utilizing recovered plastic and cotton. Excessive-end labels corresponding to BODE, Youngsters of the Discordance, and Greg Lauren created one-off items from resurrected jackets, scarves, and the like. Kudos also needs to go to artsy LA label Some Ware, which breathed new life into previous Carhartt and P.A.M archive items.

Patagonia, the undisputed king of accountable practices, launched recycled polyester down jackets, whereas Parley for the Oceans constructed on its line of adidas sneakers with attire and soccer jerseys made utilizing recovered ocean plastic.

And on the topic of sneakers, on the tail finish of 2017, Nike debuted Flyleather, which is produced from the discarded scraps which might be usually wasted within the manufacturing course of. The materials makes use of much less water and carbon than conventional leather-making strategies, turning into half of this yr’s A-COLD-WALL* x Nike collab.

Crystal Ball Says: Hopefully we’re simply seeing the start of this one — utilizing much less virgin materials is important to ensure that the style business to start out significantly decreasing its monumental environmental footprint.

Alec Leach grew up in Brighton, England, however now lives in Berlin, the place he leads Highsnobiety’s digital trend content material.

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