Last year mayhem broke through the internet when Highsnobiety released an article professing Parisian streetwear brand Vetements as dead. The article claimed to be credible through "a variety of sources in the American, European and Asian markets—buyers from retailers stocking the brand, a former Vetements employee and a sales associate from a luxury department store" as reported by the site. 

This claim sparked a fire of conversation around the brand’s success, some in defence and some in agreement. Not long after, the brand’s heads, the Gvasalia brothers Demna and Guram, not being able to ignore the buzz, issued an instagram statement against Highsnobiety’s claim stating that the company was outperforming market and has grown 50% over the past year and discrediting the article published as fake news:

“Vetements does not support wannabe journalism based on lies and gossip. Today my team at Vetements is the strongest it has ever been. My responsibility and involvement at Vetements have not changed or been compromised in any way since day one. Despite a four-year-old confusion, I have always been the creative head of Vetements. My focus is, was and always will be the product and the customer who wears it. Fashion is not about hype, nor about useless gossip or opportunistic pseudo journalism, fashion is about clothes. So is Vetements,” said Demna.

 WWD also confirmed through information from Saks Fifth Avenue that contrary to the rumours, the brand was infact making good sales on the market. 

 This was confirmation that the brand was doing well in 2018, and earlier this year online search engine Lyst released a report on the most searched brands for the first quarter of 2019. At number 9, Vetements sits pretty for their range of sunglasses in collaboration with Oakley and their denim-sportswear hybrid collection in collaboration with Levi’s. 

 Needless to say , the brand is obviously striving from a financial point of view, but creatively, what exactly are the Gvasalia brothers trying to sell? Yesterday the brand presented their SS20 show in a McDonalds franchise in Paris.  The show was an apparent commentary on the matters of capitalism, and overindulgence on an American and in some ways, international scale. This included oversized reinterpretations of security guard uniforms, leather coats , tattoo leggings and a line of t-shirts with appropriated logos from names like Playstation, Heineken, Vodafone, Bose among others, in summary, nothing new. Now the DNA of Vetements  has always been about irony and humor. But when does irony and humour turn into just a plain mockery of fashion ? When does it become ok to send a Heineken or DHL t-shirt down the runway and not only call it fashion with a capital F, but have the audacity to sell this for $500? 

Ok so Vetements probably isn't dead, but should it be? Yesterday the Parigian streetwear label's show in a McDonalds franchise sparked a few thoughts. | Image 8
Ok so Vetements probably isn't dead, but should it be? Yesterday the Parigian streetwear label's show in a McDonalds franchise sparked a few thoughts. | Image 7
Ok so Vetements probably isn't dead, but should it be? Yesterday the Parigian streetwear label's show in a McDonalds franchise sparked a few thoughts. | Image 6
Ok so Vetements probably isn't dead, but should it be? Yesterday the Parigian streetwear label's show in a McDonalds franchise sparked a few thoughts. | Image 5
Ok so Vetements probably isn't dead, but should it be? Yesterday the Parigian streetwear label's show in a McDonalds franchise sparked a few thoughts. | Image 4
Ok so Vetements probably isn't dead, but should it be? Yesterday the Parigian streetwear label's show in a McDonalds franchise sparked a few thoughts. | Image 3

 

In its earlier days Vetements became popular as a result of its wit that had some sort of innovative direction to it. It burned bright with a fire that was very much like that of a young version of Martin Margiela. It became cool because it was cool, with booties with heels made from lighters and car tail lights, velvet body suits, shoulder padded hoodies and overall just interesting silhouettes. It was a genre of madness, but with a futuristic direction to it. However recently, the brand seems to simply be living up to its name, Vetements , which translates to clothing. Which according to google are 1. Items worn to cover the body, nothing more nothing less. 

Ok so Vetements probably isn't dead, but should it be? Yesterday the Parigian streetwear label's show in a McDonalds franchise sparked a few thoughts. | Image 1
Balenciaga FW19
Ok so Vetements probably isn't dead, but should it be? Yesterday the Parigian streetwear label's show in a McDonalds franchise sparked a few thoughts. | Image 2
Balenciaga FW19
Ok so Vetements probably isn't dead, but should it be? Yesterday the Parigian streetwear label's show in a McDonalds franchise sparked a few thoughts. | Image 0
Balenciaga FW19
 

Demna Gvasalia is no fool, as creative director of Balenciaga, he creates impressive collections and elaborate shows that stimulate conversations around the future of fashion. However, of late, his brand Vetements seems to be more like an afterthought. Like a compilation of all the looks and concepts that didn’t make it through the first round of editing for a Balenciaga show, and for some strange reason, this is allegedly what brings in sales for the brand. The brand’s CEO Guram Gvasalia has always described the brand’s key ingredient to be its exclusivity as opposed to it creativity. Claiming that the brand’s supply is deliberately lower than it’s demand, to maintain a sort of hype and eliteness around it’s name.

Which means although the brand may be selling, its not a matter of it being sold in mass, but rather to a select group of people. However, this is no Supreme, so this streetwear method of selling may not last for very long. Vetements may not have lost it’s few clientele but it has for sure lost it’s wit and zest. Here’s for hoping that these past few seasons have just been a part of a grand genius performance act by the Gvasalia brothers that will culminate into a huge burst of innovation.