This summer, we’re bringing back our Designer Spotlight series, which takes you behind the scenes of your favorite fashion houses. As college women, we’re all educated, but many of us know surprisingly little about the inner workings of the fashion industry. This series aims to change that, informing you about your fashion favorites.
Our first featured designers are the design collective Vetements, a relatively young Dusseldorf-based brand that has been creating quite the buzz lately. Founded in 2014, Vetements, pronounced Vet-mahn (yeah, I said ve-te-ments too at first) is simply French for clothing. And that’s what the label’s designers are all about.
“Previous fashion was about making a dream. I feel like younger generations are much more pragmatic about it and I think this pragmatism is quite necessary to be honest.” – Demna Gvasalia, Vetements’ head designer (more about him later).
Vetements capitalizes on two big trends: streetwear and logo-mania. They make accessible clothing at not-so-accessible prices. We’re talking $330 DHL-logo t-shirts, $1395 distressed jeans and $750 skater hoodies. In the world of high fashion, this concept was and is new and intriguing.
It’s only been a few seasons, but Vetements has gained traction fast. Nordstrom and Net-a-Porter are among the brand’s buyers. Pieces are always selling out. Street style stars are sporting Vetements everywhere. Selena Gomez, Rihanna and the Jenner sisters are among the many celebrity fans of the label. It’s a true fashion phenomenon.
Vetements’ pieces are characterized by recurring features. Items are usually deconstructed, oversized and/or asymmetrical. Their tops have quirky sayings and/or extra long sleeves.
Who is behind this brand? That’s a question no one has the complete answer to. Other then head designer Demna Gvasalia and his brother, Guram (who handles the business side), the rest of the designers at the house prefer to remain anonymous. All we know is that they’ve all worked at Maison Martin Margiela in the past, another fashion house where designers prefer to be invisible.
Demna Gvasalia was born in 1981, in the eastern European nation of Georgia. He studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Belgium, a school with notable alums like Ann Demeulemeester and Dries Van Noten. Before starting Vetements, Gvasalia worked at both Louis Vuitton and Maison Martin Margiela.
Due to the insane amount of success with his brand, Gvasalia has been offered and has accepted the role as artistic director of Balenciaga, replacing Alexander Wang who stepped down last year.
Just a couple of days ago, Vetements opened Paris Haute Couture Week with a subversive collection in collaboration with 18 brands, including – get this – a couture take on the Juicy sweatsuit. (What will these geniuses think of next?)
Vetements’ quick rise to the top raises a lot of doubts and questions. Is this brand going to remain a fashion darling or is it merely a fleeting trend, on the verge of fizzling out? One thing is for certain: We’re waiting with bated breath for the answers.
What are your thoughts? What do you think about the collections? Would you buy a piece? Do you find the satire and cheekiness appealing or annoying? Is Vetements here to stay?