8 Names to Know Before Gossiping About Paris Fashion Week

By Blair Pfander |
FWX 5 NAMES TO KNOW PARIS FASHION WEEK KATE GARNER

Fashion photographer Kate Garner © AF archive / Alamy

Tuesday marked the start of Paris Fashion Week—the glitzy, Champagne-soaked finale to the month-long marathon of shows in New York, London and Milan. Here's who to keep an eye on.

Kate Garner

What She Does: Fashion photographer

Why You Should Know Her: In addition to checking out Chanel and Givenchy, travel-weary editors will be trudging (in five-inch heels) to Galerie ArtCube, where a buzzy Kate Moss exhibit has opened just in time for the Fashion Week shows. Shot in 1990 by photographer Kate Garner, the exhibit includes at least one shot of Kate Moss clad her boyfriend's underwear. Even if you can't make it in person, pretend you did by checking out preview pics on "The Cut."

Nicolas Ghesquière


Photo © Camera Press Ltd / Alamy

What He Does: Designer; former creative director of Balenciaga

Why You Should Know Him: Yes, we all love an over-the-top Chanel show, and you can bet that all of Phoebe Philo's latest Céline's creations will be knocked off at Zara within the month. But this season, only one Paris show really matters. This week, a year after leaving his post at Balenciaga, Nicolas Ghesquière will assume Marc Jacobs's throne at Louis Vuitton. Not only is the industry itching to see what the designer—who has a reputation for kooky colors and super-technical silhouettes—has up his sleeve, but we're sure to get a glimpse of Kristen Stewart in his front row. The actress is quoted in Marie Claire's March issue saying, "If I have to walk red carpets, if I have to be in fashion... then I want to be with him." Amen, KStew.

The Influential Fashion Critics


Eric Wilson. Photo © Camera Press Ltd / Alamy

Who They Are: Eric Wilson, Suzy Menkes, Meenal Mistry and Tim Blanks

Why You Should Read Them: Cathy Horyn's departure from the New York Times left insiders wondering what critic would fill her (always chic) shoes. Known for candid and occasionally unpopular opinions, Horyn—whose byline appeared on 1,123 pieces during her 15-year Times career—is a tough act to follow, but there are several influencers gunning for a position in your blog reader. The names to know: the Times' Suzy Menkes, Meenal Mistry at WSJ, Eric Wilson at InStyle and Style.com's Tim Blanks.

Yiqing Yin

Who She Is: French couturier

Why You Should Know Her: Best known for her experimental couture, the Chinese-born, Paris-based designer Yiqing Yin exploded onto the scene last May when Audrey Tautou donned her frothy, sequined gowns for the Cannes Film Festival. This week, the designer makes her debut as creative director of Leonard (replacing the Italian designer Raffaele Borriello). Given her A-list clientele, the collection is sure be a bit of a preview for the Oscars this weekend.

Coco Rocha and Sara Ziff


Photo © Amy Sussman/Corbis

What They Do: Models' rights activists

Why You Should Know Them: It's not often that fashion chatter turns to recent legislation, but this season editors are all atwitter (often literally) about the new underage-model bill that passed in New York last November. Here's the low-down: Founded by the former model Sara Ziff and backed by a supermodel/philanthropist, Coco Rocha, the Model Alliance aims to protect the rights of young models in the fashion industry. The child-model legislation (which the alliance introduced) requires that models be treated as "child performers"—which means models under 18 will have trust funds established in their names (no parents pocketing the cash) and brands must obtain "certificates of eligibility" to hire them. So far, the bill only affects New York, but it is likely inspire similar action in Europe and Asia, where PYTs of 15 and 16 rule the runway.

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