Designer Demna Gvasalia is leaving Vetements, the brand he founded in Paris five years ago. In a press release seen by WWD, Gvasalia said, “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. 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.”
The label was founded as an anonymous collective and is expected to continue to be run by members of the design team and CEO Guram Gvasalia, Demna’s brother. Now based in Switzerland, it puts out biannual collections in Paris, taking the fashion set far and wide, to under-highway ramps and outer-borough McDonald’s. “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,” Guram said to WWD.
An alum of Maison Margiela, Demna Gvasalia was the spiritual successor to Margiela’s ready-made fashion, turning vintage jeans into some of fashion’s most-coveted collaged trousers, and oversized, graphic sweatshirts into staples for people as diverse as Kanye West and Céline Dion. His aggressive, culturally aware garments also touched on the sanctity of the European Union, Brexit, communism, and Eastern Bloc politics—no small matters for a luxury fashion brand. But if Gvasalia was pushing the boundaries of fashion’s place in the political sphere, he was also wildly successful in sales; many of his most popular pieces could sell out within hours. The Georgian designer will continue as the creative director of Balenciaga, where he has reimagined the couturier’s swing coats and sloped shoulders for a 21st-century clientele.