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Friends of Racked on the Biggest Surprises of 2012

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As 2012 draws to a close, we're surveying our friends in the fashion industry about the year's biggest news stories and most exciting developments. So far, we've looked at the best and worst trends, and best improvements; now, let's discuss the biggest surprises of the year. Readers, let us know what you think in the comments.

American Apparel wasted no time hopping on the scrunchie bandwagon

Lindsey Green, fashion publicist: The unexpected return of the scrunchie in general fashion conversation. Between Hillary Clinton's staff wanting to ban her scrunchies to the Today show writing up an Olympic gymnastics scrunchie expose, the scrunchie got back on the radar, and anything is possible from there.

The Shophound, fashion blogger: Probably Nicolas Ghesquière leaving Balenciaga and being replaced with NYC wonder boy Alexander Wang.

Shana Tabor, store owner of In God We Trust: Seeing girls' buns coming out of their shorts.

Faith Hope Consolo, Chairman of the Retail Group for Douglas Elliman Real Estate: It was, and wasn't a surprise that New York remains the strongest and most resilient city in the world—and that there remains such a clamor for new retail here. Yes, we're a safe haven and the best place in the world, but the continuing stampede, and the fact that retailers are taking locations that they may not have considered before, like side streets off Madison and parts of Lexington Avenue, was a wonderful treat.

Morgan Yakus, store owner of No.6: That skirts and heels are getting higher.

Kirsten Fleming, fashion writer at the New York Post: I was surprised that Dash didn't shut down. Since it was basically in a whitewashed space with rods stapled to wall, I assumed it was merely a prop for their reality show.

Mizhattan, fashion blogger: Nicolas Ghesquière's exit at Balenciaga and Alexander Wang taking the helm.

Eddy Chai and Paul Birardi, store owners of Odin: It's not over yet!