“We are a mixture of 8 nationalities and three religions. We have a Jewish grandmother and one that is a Muslim. Including a Christian father. When someone asks me where my home is, I really cannot answer them”, shares frankly Guram Gvasalia.
They are Guram and Demna Gvasalia, two brothers, children of a refugee, having fled at the beginning of the 90s from the civil war in Georgia.
“Demna and I survived the war, we went through so much in our life, we saw terrible things. And when all these things are behind your back, you imagine the fashion industry as having fun. And you start appreciating life in a different way”, adds Guram.
They are moving in a rather different manner on the chessboard of the fashion world and this makes them some of the most serious players in the last couple of years. When the brothers found the iconic brand Vetements in 2014 in Paris, they set themselves clear goals and they have been following them uncompromisingly up to the very present day. Unlike all the other big fashion houses, which show between 6 and 8 collections a year, they launch exactly 2. They are annoyed at the overproduction by the others, the decrease in genuine creativity and the tendency to stimulate immediate sales right after the collection has been shown on the catwalk. Spewing so many designs a year automatically means short store life of the collection before going on sale as the season imposes.
Vetements’ strategy is quite the contrary. The brothers know that luxury presupposes restricted access and if you are going to ask for a sweatshirt for several thousand dollars, then it should be seriously exclusive. Here is why the clothes that Guram and Demna create are offered in a limited edition. Their designs do not get resupplied in their boutiques and are not made again. If a garment is sold out, then this is final. Shortly, this is the game that for such a short time managed to make the brand iconic and provoke all connoisseurs of rare specimens to follow with raised attention when and what Vetements are releasing on the market.
The other news with which the brand managed to surprise everyone was the decision to move the headquarters from Paris into Geneva. Guram’s explanation: “Paris kills creativity. All this “glamorous” environment is destructive. I am done with all this showing off and artificial glamour.”
In October 2015 Balenciaga announced the name of their new creative director. This task was put in the hands of Demna Gvasalia. The designer’s first collection left the audience with mixed feelings, because his designs were based on the DNA of the French fashion house, but been through the prism of Georgian creator and his love for street style. At the end of the day, the combination turned out to be successful, while Kanye West threatened on Twitted to steal Demna from Balenciaga for his own brand. We will be interested to see what the future holds regarding this matter.
Text: Alexanrda Tosheva