“Vetements has always been a collective of creative minds. We will continue to push the boundaries even further, respecting codes and the authentic values of the brand, and keep on supporting honest creativity and genuine talent,” Demna’s brother Guram Gvasalia, cofounder and chief executive officer of the Zurich-based fashion house, tells WWD in a statement. “What Demna has accomplished over the past few years represents a key chapter in the story of Vetements. We are very grateful to Demna for having contributed to the great momentum of the house.” While certain subsets of the fashion industry hail Gvasali as the “designer who ignited the streetwear juggernaut,” he has developed a bit of a reputation as a troll. And considering the jeans with the zipper that opens on the butt, the pull-on thigh-high boots that double as trousers and the £1,705 version of the IKEA shopping bag he designed as creative director at Balenciaga — we get it.
Whether at Balenciaga or Vetements, Gvasalia has been criticised for charging luxury prices for anti-luxury goods; as Business of Fashion put it, Gvasalia sells “working class brands and motifs to [...] rich consumers.” The designer acknowledges that he borrows and/or references working class consumerism — but that's a practice that began with French artist Marcel Duchamp, if not before. “I have discovered Duchamp by discovering myself in a way as designer, because it explains to me how I work,” he told WWD earlier this year.
Hate it or love it, it's clear the man has an eye for pieces that move the needle forward. He creates shapes that are now ubiquitous in the fashion industry, like the chunky Balenciaga’s Triple S sneakers and those other Balenciaga boots, you know the ones that look like socks. Gvasalia will present his Balenciaga spring 2020 collection in Paris at the end of the month and, according to WWD, he will use his free time from Vetements to “pursue new ventures.”