How Vetements Became a Fashion Phenomenon

Adrianna Barrionuevo

Since its arrival on the scene in 2014, Vetements has been one of the most buzzed-about labels. While the fashion world sits in awe of Vetements, the Internet has been having a field day with the brand's tongue-in-cheek aesthetic.

There was the site dedicated to a parody raincoat, the Twitter-famous Mean Girls meme, the Man Repeller essay "I Don't Get Vetements," and the hilarious tweet DHL shared with the world featuring an exec wearing the branded yellow tee that's become synonymous with the Parisian label. And with items like an $885 Leo DiCaprio hoodie and deconstructed jeans in the $1000-plus range, the brand manages to sell out of inventory each season. So the question still remains: How did Vetements become such a phenomenon? 

At the helm of the fashion collective is lead designer Demna Gvasalia—who currently serves as creative director at Balenciaga, and has previously worked at Margiela and Louis Vuitton—but younger brother and CEO Guram Gvasalia is also a force to be reckoned with. Thanks to 1 Granary's transcription of Sarah Mower's interview with Gurum at The Royal Institution in London, our burning question gets answered. Check out some highlights from the interview below:

On what luxury means: "Luxury was always something that was scarce. Today, I don’t consider Louis Vuitton to be a luxury brand—yes, the quality is luxury, but if you can go to the store and get whatever you want, it’s not luxury."

On why it's so expensive: "There are a few reasons. One is that we work with amazing factories. These factories are not cheap. Another thing is the fabric," says Gurum, who notes that designer Demna likes to use heavy cotton that twice as costly. "It all comes together with the shipping costs. It is nicer when people save up. They can buy this one piece that they cherish for a longer time, rather than spending money on clothes every week that they throw away afterwards."

On why you won't see Vetements on sale: "Because if something goes on sale, it means it was overproduced," Demna explains. "It is always better to sell one piece less to a store and to be sold out than to sell one piece extra and to go on sale. Because once you go on sale, there’s no going back.”

On how the brand remains sustainable with its growth: "We put caps on women’s orders; for example, stores cannot buy more than ten pairs of jeans and Italian stores are not allowed to buy more than four pieces of jersey in one style. In November, Barney’s asked us what the minimum for the order was. And I said: there’s no minimum, but there’s a maximum. And they said that no one ever speaks about maximum."

On why the brand doesn't and won't produce more of the popular hoodies: "Once it’s sold out, it’s sold out. We had hoodies from the first season that sold out super quickly and we had thousands of requests to make the hoodies again. If we were to, we would probably be able to make a million in a day. It’s out of respect to the people that bought them first that we don’t."

Keep scrolling to shop a few of the still-in-stock pieces from Vetements and read the full interview here.

Add a Comment

More Stories
1