Unless you've been living under a rock for the past 2 years, you will have heard about 'Vetements'. The ultra cool, Parisian street-wear inspired brand best known for its oversized hoodies, super long sleeves and well... 'questionable collaborations'.
Vetements, which means 'clothes' in French, has only been on the scene for a little over 2 years, but has already irreversibly changed the game.
Exploding onto the scene in the fall of 2014, it became an overnight hit with celebrities, bloggers and consumers, but left industry insiders a little perplexed. The debut collection received mixed reviews from high profile fashion jurno's. It had no real theme. No cohesive traits. Made up of wardrobe staples; the floral dress, the boyfriend blazer, the jersey sweater, the ankle boot. There was little 'new' to write about. Little 'wow factor' to document. It wasn't until the second collection the brand hit the jack pot. Again, made up of basic garments, they switched up the proportions. A bomber jacket with huge sleeves, a black sweater with an enormous hood, and a Trench coat with ridiculously big lapels. But it was the 'reworked jean' that sent fashionistas into a melt down. Slim fit, with unsymmetrical legs, frayed pockets and step hems.
High street brands scrambled to the design studio in an attempt to replicate the success. And it worked, knowingly or not, we all Bought into the Vetements phenomenon. And this resulted in some of the years worst fashion 'fads'. Thrasher hoodies, Metallica merch, THAT yellow DHL tee shirt. Yup go ahead and blame Vetements.
Not content with flogging basic tees and logo hoodies, Vetements began releasing a series of bizarre collaborations. Namely, 'champion' north face, and Juicy couture. I know what your thinking, 'champion'?! The 90's sports brand you can find in most charity shops?
As if things couldn't get weirder than champion, they released a hoodie with the words 'Justin forever...'. I'm guessing they are Beleibers.
The brand quickly earned the description 'anti fashion'. A tag that the brand strongly disputes.
So who's the brains behind all this? Well that's where the story gets interesting. Vetements is very secretive. So secretive that the design team is completely unknown. Let's discuss what we do know.
The head designer is Demna Gvasalia. Ring a bell? It should. He was a senior designer for Louis Vuitton, and Martin Margiela. Together, with a team of 5 others, they call themselves 'a fashion collective' it is presumed that the team is made up of former colleagues at Margiela. Nobody knows their names. How odd.
But Gvasalia is certainly doing something right... earlier this year he landed the top job at Balenciaga. Which to be honest left us a little speechless.
So, thinking of buying some Vetements pieces to add to the archive? Well you better win the lottery first. A coat will set you back 3 grand. A pair of jeans, £800. Maybe just a hoody then, £600 bucks?! Maybe not.
In short, it says more about the fashion industry at present that we as consumers are ready to pay funny money to wear an ill fitting pair of joggers. I can't help but think that Vetements is one big joke... at our expense.