Vetements' Validation: The Must-Have Brand That's Shaking Up The System

Vetements, the young Parisian collective (and hottest ticket in fashion at the moment), is one of a growing number of brands changing up the traditional methods of showing and selling.

Kay-Paris Fernandes / Getty Images
OF 7

The buzziest topic among fashion editors and journalists at the moment isn't necessarily a trend or a silhouette or an It-item (though all of these things do involve the brand we're about to highlight). No. What people can't stop talking about is the industry's "broken system," and its continued implementation of a dinosaur scheme: Stage expensive shows in New York, London, Milan, and Paris twice a year; generate pre-fall and resort collections between said shows (and these are key, because pre-fall and resort collections stay on shelves longer than mainline offerings); have all your hard work transmitted instantly to the world via social media, thereby rendering said work somewhat stale by the time deliveries are signed for six months later. The whole thing, many suggest, is rolling along like a tanker taking on water in an age that's increasingly intolerant for slowness. But there are some that've jumped ship, including the peculiar, white-hot Vetements.

Vetements, meaning "clothing" in French, is a Paris-based collective from Demna and Guram Gvasalia that launched in 2014, and has since become a hugely influential fascination, known and lusted after for its street-savvy and slightly off kilter shapes like elongated-sleeve hoodies, reworked denim, pieced-together floral dresses, slogan and logo-printed tees, leather trench coats and more. It is almost as if the Gvasalias originally set out to shun the look-at-me clothes of yesteryear, those tired relics of the street style boom, and, in turn, generated the most looked at wardrobe on the block. Strange how fashion works. The label's resonance is unavoidable from top to bottom: Demna has replaced Alexander Wang as creative director at Balenciaga; at the Fall 2016 fashion shows so far, the absolute must-have piece is a simple black raincoat with even simpler block lettering on the back, spelling "VETEMENTS”—clothing that is literally declaring itself as clothing. It seems every third person is wearing it. 

Vetements is also proving itself authoritative with an upcoming shift in its show schedule announced earlier this February. From January 2017, the Gvasalias will stage combined men's and womenswear presentations in the first and sixth months of the year, weeks ahead of the "normal" show window. The move will allow for greater production control, quicker deliveries, and a jumpstart on the competition (lots of people have copied Vetements designs, as one can imagine, given its hype). Other early evolutionists are adjusting their calendars and deliverables, too: Burberry announced a few weeks ago that starting in September 2016 they will no longer partake in the preview-show structure. Instead, the brand’s runway spectacles will be produced strictly for the consumer twice a year, and their combined men's and women's collections will be available for purchase online and in-store immediately following the catwalk.

While very few designers, such as Azzedine Alaïa, have always bucked the fashion calendar (he hasn't shown at fashion week since 2003) this recent shake up feels like an indicator of a historic, tectonic shift. Already Tom Ford is adapting the practice; when he shows new collections, they too will be buyable right away. Plenty of others are offering partial see-now-buy-now options. In New York alone, Rag & Bone, Proenza Schouler, Monique Lhuillier, and Diane von Furstenberg all have options already for sale from their Fall 2016 rosters. Watch this space; it might look very different, tomorrow. 

Click through the gallery to see more peices from Vetements, plus shoppable items from Monique Lhuillier, Diane Von Furstenberg, and more.

Explore More in Fashion

D
×

D = Exclusive content for American Express Platinum Card® Members

Content from the current issue of DEPARTURES is available only to Platinum Card® Members. If you would like to learn more about the benefits and rewards of the Platinum Card, please click here.

Learn More

The Fall Guys: This Season's Best Menswear