Demna Gvasalia has officially left his position as Head Designer at Vetements, the Zurich-based label that managed to shake up the luxury fashion industry since it launched a mere five years ago.
“I feel like I accomplished my mission,” Gvasalia announced to WWD. Demna’s brother, Guram Gvasalia will continue to take the reigns as the brand’s CEO.
“I started Vetements because I was bored of fashion, and against all odds, fashion did change once and forever since Vetements appeared, and it also opened a new door for so many.” Demna said of his role. “So I feel that I have accomplished my mission as a conceptualist and design innovator at this exceptional brand, and Vetements has matured into a company that can evolve its creative heritage into a new chapter on its own.”
And Gvasalia achieved his goal. He truly revolutionalised the fashion industry. Over the years that followed the launch of Vetements, Gvasalia became fashion’s most-talked about designer – a feat that landed him a job as Balenciaga’s creative director after only three seasons.
Assumably, Gvasalia will continue his role at Balenciaga, with rumours already swirling that he’ll be pursuing a number of new projects. But to celebrate his tenure at Vetements, we give you five ways the Georgian designer changed the face of fashion.
Defying industry standardsWith fashion shows held at a Paris McDonalds, a gritty Belleville Chinese restaurant, and Saint Ouen’s flea markets, Gvasalia has constantly gone against the grain, bypassing the typically over-the-top settings of Parisian fashion shows for something more authentic.
Exposing fashion’s capitalist kitsch via a $200 DHL t-shirtIn an interview with The Telegraph, Gvasalia admitted that he wouldn’t pay that much for clothes himself. “I don’t think I’m crazy fashion enough to go and buy those things. I’d rather go on holiday. I feel like it brings more use. Holidays are important. Holidays and quality time on your sofa,” he said.
Perfecting the art of scarcity
The brand gave buyers a maximum number of orders they can take, rather than a minimum one. Their strategy? Exclusivity builds excitement.
Blurring the lines of luxury
If there is anything Gvasalia excels at, it’s transforming the mundane into luxury. With Vetement’s sportswear aesthetic, he put comfort and functionality forward.
Transparency was keyWhen the designer was accused of ripping off Margiela’s iconic Tabi boots, he didn’t shy away from critique. In fact, he welcomed them and used them as a way to open up fashion’s conversation on copying and appropriation. “I put the Tabi in because I wanted to directly address the issue of appropriation. What is a source, what is an influence, what is a copy? The answers are difficult to define.” He said in an interview with The Guardian.