10 Jul Demna Gvasalia: Fashion’s Wild Child
Demna Gvasalia was born in Georgia in 1981. He attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, which he graduated in 2006 from. He landed in Maison Martin Margiela, where he studied for three years and designed womenswear from 2009 until 2012. His time at Margiela foregrounded his design foundation which is noticeable as inspiration in some aspect of each of his collections. This led Gvasalia into Louis Vuitton, where he worked as head womenswear designer from 2012 to 2014.
In 2014 Demna, his brother Guram and five other friends founded Vetements, which is a design collective. Created because of the tired mundane that fashion had rolled into. In a nutshell, it is a brand that combines urban culture and streetwear while still abiding by the definition of a modern wardrobe by just updating its content with a splash of attitude and individuality. Gvasalia spoke to Vogue and stated that “Previous fashion was about making a dream. I feel like younger generations are much more pragmatic about it and I think this pragmatism is quite necessary to be honest”. This pragmatism is seen through not just the use of clothing that everyone wears like t-shirts and hoodies but also their choice of casting in models, who are regularly scouted from Instagram. The key to Vetements is that it does not hold back its attitude. It is the attitude of the clothing that immediately ties it with the brand – something that not many designers are able to do through their clothing nowadays.
Just three seasons into Vetements, in October 2015 he was appointed to take over from Alexander Wang as artistic director of Parisian fashion house Balenciaga. In March 2017, Demna was awarded CFDA’s International Award for his work at Balenciaga and Vetements, placing him on a pedestal of influence in this industry.
His success is not just seen in the numbers, but on the streets and the internet. Street style photographers are capturing his creations on many of the best dressed and the youth are going wild over his hoodies. The design knock offs just prove that everyone wants a piece of Demna.
Cover photo courtesy of The New York Times