Demna's Balenciaga

At this point, Demna Gvasalia needs no introduction. Vetements creative director and Balenciaga creative director, Demna took the fashion world by storm. With Vetements release in 2014, we found ourselves wearing XXL hoodies with a brand name on the hood most people couldn't pronounce. Pronounced Vet-Mont Demna started this streetwear and high-end hybrid monster. The first time I heard about Demna is when I read an article about Vetement being the new “it” brand. With eye-catching items such as the infamous “DHL” yellow tee and the rendition of the Titanic with the “Coming Soon” hoodie, we saw how the world reacted to Vetements. It is almost as if there was a wildfire and everyone just was glued to the fire spread. Not much later did we see celebrities such as Kanye West, Rihanna and Jared Leto attending the showcases and sported the garments. Now no one is saying Demna invented oversized clothes but the ideology of Vetements is what stuck with the crowd. A fluid feminine look that not only a man can wear but a woman can wear and look very “fashionable.” If you posted a picture of you wearing a Vetement hoodie you'd automatically get flooded by likes with the streetwear sheep that roam the Instagram explore page. 

We've seen many brands come out hot and die but what made Vetements different. Besides astronomical prices and your idols wearing it, there was the extreme exclusivity to it. One something sold out that's it. No item of Vetements ever restocked which made resellers mouth water with the profit they were raking in. But there was a transition with this brand. First came the oversized hoodies with the embroidery but what followed was the champion mock sweatshirts and followed by that the reconstructed denim wave. See Demna was actually quite tactful and a genius with his rollout plan. With hit streetwear brands that died out such as Been Trill or Hood By Air, they released all the heavy hitters all at once. Which at the same time caused the streetwear scene to crash and be in awe that big logos in white attract teenagers. That plan caused those brands to crash. See Demna has these ideas in the bag and knew if he were to release everything at once nobody would stay with Vetement. So Demna seeing the mistakes of his peers dropped certain clothes with certain timing. Hence how once the extreme hype of his hoodies started to die down he released the champion mock and once that settled down he released his second most influential piece the “deconstructed denim” Demna has the industry going crazy and kept releasing notable items but just aren't hype enough to talk about on this website. With such commotion, the Vetement frontman and a not so relevant fashion house merged. 

In 2016 Demna revealed he was the new creative director of staple fashion house icon Balenciaga. Now, this was one of the smartest things Balenciaga did besides making Alexander Wang leave. Being honest after 2013 Balenciaga wasn't making many headlines as much as a huge house should have. Whether or not it was the hardcore fans mad about Nicolas Ghesquiere leaving or Wangs inability to make something hot, Balenciaga needed something to bring them back into the conversation. Gucci had Alessandro making headlines. Hedi’s last collection at Saint Laurent was soon which gave an easier opening to Balenciaga instead of forcing its way into the conversation they waited for Mr.Slimmane to exit. And with Spring Summer 16 being Hedi’s last collection what better time to introduce the hottest thing in fashion. In March 2016 Balenciaga debuted Demnas first collection at Balenciaga. Now many critics barked at Demna and many praised him as the savior needed at Balenciaga. Demna paid his respects to Monsieur Balenciaga's legacy and added his Vetement aesthetic into the mix. I found it poetic that Demna paid respects to the founding father of this house and implemented his own known ideas to create a reason to buy Balenciaga again. The old supporters had reasons and the new streetwear enthusiasts had motives also to spend thousands of dollars on plaid and oversized tops. Now personally I was at first confused as to what to think so I held my thoughts to myself and now as time passes I see the impact Demna has made. Not everything is great as many ideas I dislike such as the horrific dad shoe iteration “triple S sneaker” or putting plastic on garments. But the plaid and awkward silhouettes work in my opinion and bring that Demna look into the equation. Comparing Demna's reign at Balenciaga to Wangs I think most will agree this is a huge step in the right direction. Ever since Balenciaga declared a new creative director the fashion house had a second chance and has been more mainstream than ever.

Now that being said Demna along with others such as Virgil Abloh and Louis Vuitton working with supreme we have seen this major blend in between the lines of streetwear and high end and now with Balenciaga pushing more of a streetwear look we can the direction fashion is heading in and can predict the impact that will happen to the industry.

FashionNathan Perez