What's up Community, who of you has been paying attention in the french classes and knows what Vetements means in English? In English Vetements means clothes. However this article is not about French vocabulary, but about the controversial French fashion brand Vetements and their way up to Vetements Sneaker, with Reebok.
Vetements Story or the story of Demna Gvasalia
The story of Vetements is also the story of Demna Gvasalia, the Georgian, who is probably the face of the current fashion industry, alongside Virgil Abloh.
The Georgian's fashion story begins in his youth in Georgia, where he and his friends, all had to wear the same clothes. Due to that, there was no possibility of individuality. Hence his interest in fashion. In 2002, Gvasalia was drawn to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. A university, where designers like Dries van Noten have already studied. In Antwerpen he studied under Walter von Beirendock and graduated in 2006. His fashion career starts 2009 at Maison Martin Margiela, as a women's designer. Margiela is a fashion company, where most designers remain anonymous, a concept that Vetements also uses. From Margiela, Gvasalia moved to Louis Vuitton in 2012. There he works under the designers Marc Jacobs and Nicolas Ghesquière, as a women's designer on haute couture (catwalk fashion).
In 2014, Gvasalia left Louis Vuitton and founded the fashion brand Vetements, with his brother Guram Gvasalia and six other anonymous designers. These six anonymous designers are most likely former colleagues of Gvasalia, with whom he worked at Louis Vuitton and Margiela.
Gvasalia did not stop with the creation of Vetements. In 2015, he became artistic director of Balenciaga, where he still works today, but still continues to design for Vetements.
The idea behind Vetements
Vetements was only founded, because Demna Gvasalia and his anonymous colleagues found fashion, at the time, boring. The concept and idea behind Vetements was simple. They wanted to bring a variety to the fashion scene and, as the name suggests, produce clothes.
The great ascent thanks to DHL
In March 2014, Vetements presents its first collection. But it took until the Spring/Summer '16 Show in October 2015 for the big breakthrough. The show in autumn 2015 took place in a simple Chinese restaurant in Paris, with stars like Kanye West and Travis Scott in attendance. And then designer Gosha Rubchinsky (who modeled for Vetements) wore a yellow shirt with the DHL logo on it. A shirt could not be designed more simply than in a single colour and with a logo from another company. Especially a company like DHL express, which has absolutely nothing to do with the catwalk of a Paris fashion show.
That was exactly what attracted attention. This was completely different to all other fashion brands at that time. Shortly after the fashion show the t-shirt is released and despite a price of 245 Euros, the t-shirt is sold out immediately. In 2018 there was another co-operation with DHL, this one is also completely sold out, except for one cell phone case.
From then on it went uphill.
With the Spring/Summer '16 show, Vetements finally arrived and got accepted in the Parisian fashion world, even though Vetements was exactly the opposite of everything the fashion world stood for at that time. With Vetements, Demna Gvasalia had succeeded in revolutionising the fashion scene, even though, he himself was part of the old scene. Vetements copied things from others and made fun of himself and the fashion industry. In 2018, as mentioned above, a second collection was produced with DHL. The goal was for the items to look like fakes, something absolutely unimaginable. Although everything Vetements did was against the high fashion industry, they were an important part of it and that should remain so, both today and in the future.
Vetements set trends that have lasted until today, for example "Logomania" only came back thanks to Vetements. Vetements is an expensive streetwear brand, that lives exactly from how society developed. Society wanted to wear streetwear to look cool, but at the same time they wanted to make a statement, that they had money to afford expensive clothes and so Vetements established itself as an important part of the Parisian fashion scene.
From the police to Vetements sneakers with Reebok
The DHL collection was not the only controversial collection from Vetements. A few years ago they started to print POLIZEI on dark green clothes. The pieces looked like real police clothes in Germany. It even went so far that in Stuttgart, a raincoat was confiscated by the police because of "misuse of titles". Like the DHL collection the police collection was released again, however unlike the DHL collection you can still get this one today.
The first hype in the sneaker scene was caused by Vetements' collaboration with Reebok, which is still going on today.
This partnership began with the Reebok Pump Fury, the first Vetements Sneaker on which Vetements has designed the most extraordinary colorways in recent years. A shoe to which I personally have not found any comparison, but that was probably the goal of Vetements Sneakers. This model is only available at StockX and no other retailers anymore. Don't worry about that though, the picture guides you directly to StockX, where you can have a closer look at the shoe.
The next Vetements Sneaker, which was released together with Reebok, was anything but normal again. Similar to the Balenciaga Speed Trainer with a kind of "sock" as a shoe, only that this one goes up all the way to the shin. Simply extraordinary shoes that you see in every fashion metropolis in the world, it doesn't matter if it's New York, Paris or Tokyo. As with the Pump Fury's you can go directly to the product page, via the picture.
The two have launched a third Vetements Sneaker, the Spike Runner' Sneaker. You can still buy this sneaker on the market or by clicking the picture.
In the last years some other collections with designs from other companies/brands followed, like Star Wars or Titanic. However, none of them were as controversial and hyped as the DHL 2016 collection. The catwalk shows continued to be in "weird" places like McDonald's etc. However none was as iconic as the one in October 2015. In 2019 Demna Gvasalia left Vetements, because he thought the brand would be fine without him and he wanted to concentrate more on his job at Balenciaga. So what remained after his departure?
A good six years after its foundation, Vetements is one of the most popular streetwear brands in the world - its clothes and fashion shows are cult. More importantly, Vetements has left its mark on the business of fashion. High end brands like Dior and Louis Vuitton are suddenly making their own streetware items. Dior sells 81% more streetwear items today, than 5 years ago. Thanks to Vetements, the high-end fashion world has turned 180 degrees and is now completely different. So much so that now designers of streetware brands like Vetements and Off-White are on top of the old French fashion houses Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton.
So that's it, this is the story behind Vetements. An unconventional journey into the world of Fashion. For more stories like this and Sneaker news check out our Blogs and Updates or follow us, on our social media channels. For all sneaker releases coming up in the near future check out our release calendar.