Five years after founding the brand, design juggernaut Demna Gvasalia is leaving Vetements. In a press release sent to 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.”
Vetements will continue to be run in Switzerland by the design team (it was originally founded as an anonymous “design collective”) and Gvasalia’s brother, Guram, who serves as the company’s CEO. “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 told WWD.
At Vetements, Gvasalia made a splash by trolling the fashion industry and pioneering a new, Eastern Bloc-inspired aesthetic. That look certainly caught on; every show these days feels like it was styled by Gvasalia and prolific collaborator Lotta Volkova. He held a runway show at McDonalds, sold t-shirts blaring the DHL logo, and released $800 sweatshirts with slogans like “May the bridges I burn light the way.” In 2016 he was appointed the artistic director at Balenciaga, where he continued to evolve the aesthetic—the giant parkas, the Crocs. He will reportedly stay on at the storied Spanish label.
Last year, reports emerged that Vetements was struggling financially, which both Gvasalia brothers strongly refuted. “Fashion is not about hype, nor about useless gossip or opportunistic pseudo journalism, fashion is about clothes,” Demna wrote on Instagram. “So is Vetements.”