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Is a three-way war about to begin between VETEMENTS, Balenciaga, and Ye?

The blame is all on the new sock sneaker

Is a three-way war about to begin between VETEMENTS, Balenciaga, and Ye? The blame is all on the new sock sneaker

Once again, Kanye West has sparked a new controversy: this time it's not about any unfortunate or scandalous statement; the only "fault" is creating a sock-shoe that, according to Guram Gvasalia, has been copied from a footwear by VETEMENTS. The accusation comes from an Instagram post shared on the creative's personal profile and the brand's page, following the debut of Kanye West's YZY PODS and the new Sock Sneaker by Balenciaga. Despite the Instagram post's caption not being an explicit message towards Balenciaga or Kanye West, it is evident that the message is directed at both. There's tension between Guram Gvasalia and Balenciaga: in 2019, his brother Demna, co-founder of VETEMENTS, permanently left the creative direction of the brand founded five years earlier to fully dedicate himself to Balenciaga.

Since 2021, when Guram Gvasalia officially became the new creative director of VETEMENTS, the competition between the two brothers grew immensely. This is evident in Guram's statements in an interview with New York Times: «I think my brother is really talented; I have a completely different approach to things. Demna had a golden period that lasted ten years, but I think his era is coming to an end. It's my time now,» adding: «Considering where I am today, I can say I'm clearly ahead of Demna. At my age, he wasn't at this level.» What appears particularly ambiguous in Guram Gvasalia's Instagram caption expressing his discontent is the timing: Guram could have pointed out the similarity between his old product and the YZY PODS when Kanye started wearing them between August and October around Italy, but instead waited for the footwear to debut on the market and for Kanye to start promoting his new album - perhaps a way to garner as much media attention as possible. Balenciaga itself pioneered the sock-sneaker trend in 2018 with the Speed Runner model, which differed from recently released footwear only by a bulkier midsole. In short, Guram Gvasalia's controversies seem truly futile, born out of resentment and envy towards both the rapper and the brilliant Demna.