Status Symbols: The “It” Designer Items That Made A Splash in 2012

Perrie Samotin
Status Symbols: The “It” Designer Items That Made A Splash in 2012
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As 2012 draws to a close, we’ve already touched upon the year’s top runway trends, the best-dressed celebrities and the biggest red-carpet misses, and now we’re officially bidding the year farewell with a look at individual items that made a huge splash in the fashion world this year with editors, street style stars, bloggers … even Kanye West (did we mention these are all women’s items?)

Some of the items were ubiquitous with a capital U (Isabel Marant wedge sneakers, Céline Luggage Totes) and others were a bit more insider baseball (Kenzo’s tiger sweatshirt, Acne’s Lia sweater) but one thing they all had in common: Cool people wore ’em, they were photographed to death, and we all wanted ’em.

Whether they’ll stand the test of time remains to be seen, but you can bet that come 2013, a whole new crop of  luxury items will emerge, causing similar gotta-have-it frenzies.

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Click through to see 2012's "it" items!

Isabel Marant Wedge Sneakers: The hidden-wedge sneaker that launched a thousand knockoffs, to call Isabel Marant's version a hit this year would be an understatement of epic proportion. The clunky kicks that started it all were spotted—starting in early 2012–on a variety of bloggers, celebs, Victoria's Secret Angels, editors, and in-the-know fashion lovers, but soon became so widespead that it seemed you couldn't throw a stone without hitting someone with a spare $700 wearing one of Marant's many incarnations.

The Céline Luggage Tote: The year of Céline, that's pretty much was 2012 was–at least to the fashion-loving crowd. The French label's Luggage Tote was so of-the-moment, in fact, that Women's Wear Daily officially anointed the tote as New York Fashion Week's "It" bag in February. Once coveted due to it's limited availability and high-fashion cache, the bag–which clocks in at over $2,000—has become something of a widespread status symbol, very much on the radar of those outside the immediate fashion industry. Need proof? Kim Kardashian toted one around this year, and her teenage sisters posted pics on Instagram that they recieved their own Luggage Totes for Christmas. 

Photos from left: Atlantic-Pacific, Getty, Fashion Snag, Kate Loves Me

Kenzo Tiger Sweater: To say that Kenzo’s tiger sweaters (one was a knit and one was a sweatshirt) were a hit is a serious understatement; During the Spring 2013 collections in New York, it seemed like every It-blogger, fashion editor, and model was wearing one, and—making the item all the more tantalizing—the $255 sweaters were not to be found for sale anywhere, seeling out at Opening Ceremony in two days flat. How? Read our story detailing the rise of the sweater here!

Photos via Imaxtree, The Haute Pursuit, Mister Mort, Style Scrapbook

3.1 Phillip Lim Ka-Pow Sweater: For his Pre-Fall 2012, Phillip Lim added some humor to his collection with a series of super hero-ready sweaters, T-shirts and accessories inspired by his own fascination wuth neo-noir comic books—and the graphic "Ka-Pow" sweater emerged as the standout item. So standout, in fact, that we couldn't help noticing a number of top bloggers seemed to have recklessly abandoned their signature minimalist style for the decidedly un-subtle Lichenstein-esque pullover. 

Photos from left: Getty, Phillip Lim, Fashion Toast, Style by Yellow Button

Céline Floral Skirt: While Céline bags made a louder splash in 2012, plenty of Pheobe Philo's designs also made waves, though with a more in-the-know crowd. This particular floral skirt, from the French label's Pre-Spring collection, was a bonafide hit with street style stars such as Alexa Chung, photographer Tamu McPherson and Sarah Rutson, all of whom effortlessly put their own spin on the item. 

Photos from left: Céline, Vanessa Jackman, Getty, Studded Hearts

Acne Mint Green Lia Sweater: When Kanye West shimmies into a woman's sweater, you know there's something there. The hip-hop star wasn't the only one rocking Acne's $320 mint cable-knit sweater this year: It was one of the most ubiquitious items at New York Fashion Week in February (we spotted it on girls and guys), and—like any good "It" item—it was pretty much impossible to get a hold of. 

Photos from left: Upscale Hype, Easy Fashion, Dress Me, Bleed for Fashion

Givenchy Shark Tooth Necklace: During Givenchy's Spring 2012 collection, designer Ricardo Tisci paid homage to the life aquatic, with a number of under-the-sea references. It was, however, the label's shark tooth necklaces that stuck with consumers as it was spotted in various sizes on scores of bloggers, models, editors and used in glossy editorials. Plus, it inspired countless DIY versions, too. 

Photos from left: Vogue China,, Stop It Right Now, Getty

Opening Ceremony x Glamour Cat Sweater: We spotted this cat sweater—a collaboration between Opening Ceremony and Glamour magazine—on a calvalcade of editors and bloggers during New York Fashion Week in February. Our memories of Marketing 101 are hazy at best, but we assume that by having select influencers strategically debut the $99 sweater during NYFW, Glamour and OC were rightly banking on lotsa buzz, followed by lotsa sales from fashion followers when it became available for purchase—which it did. 

Photos from left: Opening Ceremony, Tommy Ton, Style Bubble, Glamour

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