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What Was the Biggest Surprise of 2012? Bay Area Fashion Luminaries Weigh In

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It's the first Friday afternoon after the first days back to work after the holidays. Are you about to fall asleep? Surprise! We were hoping this list of surprises in fashion and retail from 2012 might wake you up. And we have a whole year of surprises ahead of us, so look alive!

Before ringing in the new year, we looked at the best and worst trends of 2012; and we asked our local luminaries to describe it all in one word. We also asked for their favorite newcomers in Bay Area retail, their favorite purchases of the year, and which neighborhood won them over as the most-improved shopping haven. Now, without further ado, their biggest surprises of 2012.

Erin Hiemstra of Apartment 34: The return of '90s style fashion - things like chunky heeled loafers, tartan skirts—it was like Clueless.

Dr. Jordan Deschamps-Braly, plastic surgeon and menswear aficionado: The biggest fashion surprise was the news that Hedi Slimane took over YSL, changing the name and running it from Los Angeles rather than Paris.

Jessica Mullens, founder of Mullens Public Relations: Maison Martin Margiela for H&M!

Sarah Sung, San Francisco Editor at Urban Daddy: How much it reminded me of growing up in the '80s, stylewise.

Jeanne Chan of ShopSweetThings: When everyone was calling maroon... oxblood.

Joanna Riedl, publicist: I'm loving how stores are using Instagram to get their customers excited about what's on the racks - they are editorializing everything and it is totally working! Mercy Vintage Now in Oakland is a great example, I swoon over their posts daily.

Marilyn Cabak, philanthropist: In 2012, the biggest fashion surprise to me was that people actually BOUGHT into all of the bold pattern trends!

Claudia Ross, founder of Cross Marketing: Since fur and leather were huge fashion players this year, I've noticed more eco-friendly versions have become available. It's great that now everyone can appreciate and sport the trend even if they do not want to wear the real thing. The imitation fabrics have become so creative that we can all keep on trend and eco-conscious, which is important especially in San Francisco where the green movement seems to have a strong impact.

Katie Hintz-Zambrano, Senior West Coast Editor at Refinery 29: The lines out the door at Uniqlo...for weeks on end! Who would have thought?!"