The name Demna Gvasalia was a hot topic throughout Paris Fashion Week. Having been named as Balenciaga’s new artistic director, succeeding Alexander Wang and remaining at Parisian cool label Vetements, the fashion industry is watching him very closely. Before the announcement was made last month, we met with the designer to discuss Paris, luxury fashion and change.
By Susan Devaney
What are the main challenges of being a young label in Paris today?
Production, production, production. And cashflow.
You’ve said before that ‘there is no youth culture in France’, what did you mean by this?
There is not one or few defined directions as it used to be in the 80s or 90s. There is so much information and possibilities available through the Internet, so there is huge variety for the youth today, which is exciting at the same time. So I would rephrase it by saying as long as there is youth there is youth culture, it’s just less defined and less framed than it used to be in the past.
You all live in Paris, why did you decide to stay and work in the city? Did you ever consider London?
We like to be in Paris now, because we know its real side, unpolished, brutal Paris, which is exciting and due to the fact that its quite a conservative old city there is a hunger and thrive for something new naturally. And we like that hunger for new.
Do you think the Parisian fashion scene is changing? Do you think the city of Paris is changing?
Definitely, I think it has no choice but to change, its obligatory, its 2015. We are living in the ‘future’.
What opportunities do you get as young label that you never had whilst working for a well-known luxury brand in Paris?
The freedom, which is the biggest luxury of all.
You showcased your first collection in March 2014, what’s been the secret to your success?
Perhaps its our quite direct and intuitive approach to making clothes and hopefully it speaks to a lot of different people.
What’s the story behind Vetements?
We founded Vetements because we simply wanted to make clothes for our friends, girls we know. It’s a brand that makes clothes, inspired by clothes. There are no seasonal themes, we always work with the existing wardrobe and every season try to give the garments we like a new shape, concept and frame.
What was the main inspiration behind your SS15 and AW15 collections?
The wardrobe and garments that we like and wear, our friends and people around us, on the streets of Paris, in Supermarkets, at parties and in metro.
As a group of designers how does your creative collaboration process work?
We talk a lot and discuss and question permanently what we do. There is a lot of editing and intercommunication in our work process. We are quite a small team which allows everyone to be involved in the complete process of making the collection at every given moment.