Fashion News

Demna Gvasalia on why Vetements will stop runway shows: “I got bored”

In a year when the carousel of fashion shows is spinning at blur-speed, there’s breaking news that will stop the industry in its tracks today: Vetements is stepping off. “We are not going to show in the classical system anymore,” Demna Gvasalia told Vogue. “I got bored. I think it needs to enter a new chapter. Fashion shows are not the best tool. We did the show in the sex club, the restaurant, the church. We brought forward the season, we showed men’s and women’s together. It’s become repetitive and exhausting. We will do something when there’s the time and the need for it. It will be more like a surprise.”


Gvasalia delivered his news during a phone conversation from Zurich, Switzerland, where he and his brother, Guram, moved the Vetements studio and staff after the last show in Paris. “I completely changed the lifestyle. I stopped the clubby, Parisian way I’ve been living for the past few years. Zurich is a kind of nature paradise, and it’s probably the most boring place in Europe,” said the designer. That’s great, he explained, for thinking and slowing down the manic pace fashion people get trapped in while working in big cities. Nobody in fashion has gone as fast as Vetements in the past few years. By driving their brand head-on into the revved-up universe of social media, the Gvasalia brothers have become poster boys for instant and direct communication, the people who have succeeded in engaging a whole generation of fanatical fans and converting establishment grown-ups while they’re at it. That they’re also the first ones to detach themselves from the overstimulated, overcrowded, nonstop show system is less a renegade action than an epiphany, Gvasalia says. Rather than just being another stunt in Vetements’s four-year sprint of novelty interventions—as some might suspect—the brothers are putting on the brakes to prioritize intelligent business development and mental health. “It’s like we’re putting Vetements into an artificial coma,” Gvasalia said, chuckling. “It’s like we’ve got this big baby, and we’ve got to take care of it. In five years, it has gone so fast; it started to become something else. I want to bring it back to where we started. No more oversize hoodies! We’re independent. We can do what we choose. That’s the beauty of Vetements.”
Fast growth may be the ultimate dream goal of corporate fashion in the era of global consumption, but the Gvasalias among rising numbers of others caught up in it are increasingly questioning its machinery. For one thing, the cost of staging multiple shows every year has become ever more unsustainable for young designers. “For the first time last season, I was able to watch our own show from a balcony,” Gvasalia recalled. “I could see everybody filming it on their screens. I realized that 80 percent of the clothes we did were not really seen or understood. And it cost so much. You cannot put on a show for less than 25,000 euros. That one cost in the region of 100,000 euros, with the venue. And there are brands now putting on shows around the world that cost millions. I think it’s a complete waste.”