Demna Gvasalia is exiting Vetements “to pursue new ventures”, according to a statement released by the Zurich-based fashion house over the weekend. He will continue as creative director of Balenciaga, where he will present his spring/summer 2020 collection on 29 September during Paris Fashion Week.
When Gvasalia and his brother Guram founded Vetements five years ago with a handful of friends, its visibility on the international fashion scene soared despite the group’s initial attempt at anonymity. The creatives upturned show protocol by staging mens- and womenswear together in two collections per year presented off the traditional schedule, and garnered the attention of the fashion cognoscenti with their anarchic take on everyday streetwear, or normcore.
“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 Gvasalia told WWD. “So I feel that I have accomplished my mission of 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.”
For Gvasalia’s last Vetements spring/summer 2020 presentation, the creative director “switched on a full ‘Demna’ filter in terms of product, so there was zero compromise in terms of concept,” he told Vogue in June. “The collection is a perfect representation of my authentic vision for Vetements with many codes that evolved since five years ago, and a few new ones.” The words written on napkins scattered around McDonalds on Paris’s Champs-Élysées – the show’s setting – were similar to Vetements’s original mission statement: “Police uniform, kapitalism, clothes 4 rent, global mind fuck, new old goth, böse, fashion forever.” Gvasalia, though ever the subversive disruptor, distilled this down to the powerful missive: “There is an identity crisis so we live in the time when dressing and fashion have a powerful role.” He chose to never take a bow after a Vetements show.
On Vetements’s new chapter, Guram Gvasalia, co-founder and chief executive officer, said: “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.” He hinted at expansion with surprise collaborations and projects to be revealed in the very near future.