Update: According to designer Demna Gvasalia, his clothing company, Vetements is doing just fine. “To the disappointment of all the haters, we would like to declare that Vetements is in the strongest creative and financial state it has ever been,” he told WWD after an article posted in HighSnobiety claimed the label had seen its peak. "We are definitely not going out of business and the speculations about our sales figures are not only false and defamatory in its nature but also simply ridiculous.”
On Friday, he took to the brand’s Instagram to further address HighSnobiety’s claims, writing “Vetements does not support wannabe journalism based on lies and gossip.” Gvasalia also went on to say: “Fashion is not about hype, nor useless gossip or opportunistic pseudo journalism, fashion is about clothes. So is Vetements.”
And there you have it, folks.
This article was originally published on March 29, 2018.
Since its conception in 2014, Vetements has never played by the rules: It introduced an Eastern European-inspired aesthetic that included elongated sleeves, sleeves, deconstructed silhouettes, and oversized shapes to every street style star’s wardrobe, and was responsible for the revival of everything from Juicy Couture to Champion with its celebrity-favourite collaborations. Though the industry has been constantly captivated by its moves — not to mention those damn DHL T-shirts and those sock boots with the lighter heel — Vetements just isn’t selling the way it used to.
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it was selling nearly $2K sweatshirts, or maybe it's because Gvasalia himself admitted he wouldn’t pay for his own designs, but retailers who spoke to HighSnobiety (anonymously) said the brand has lost its lustre with clientele. “Everyone is waving it goodbye already,” one former luxury store manager said. “The prices get to the point where you can’t justify it any more and without that hype from the beginning to get people excited, they’re just like, ‘you’re having a laugh.’” A former Vetements employee echoed that sentiment, citing the company’s move to Zurich as the final straw that broke the HypeBeast’s back.
When Gvasalia announced in June that he was quitting the catwalk, it was assumed he was onto the next big thing — and that the industry would soon follow. “I got bored,” he told Vogue. “I think it needs to enter a new chapter. Fashion shows are not the best tool. We did the show in the sex club, the restaurant, the church. We brought forward the season, we showed men’s and women’s together. It’s become repetitive and exhausting. We will do something when there’s the time and the need for it. It will be more like a surprise.” But maybe that next big thing meant shifting all of his attention to Balenciaga? A buyer suggested as much to HighSnobiety, saying, “We’ve also heard from Vetements’ own internal team that the best designs were sent to Balenciaga. It seems like the second-grade designs are left behind at Vetements.”
That, or maybe Vetements just isn’t funny anymore now that everyone is in on the joke?