According to an official statement on WWD, it’s not an act. Gvasalia announced his exit from the brand to “pursue new ventures,” which could mean doubling down on his position as creative director at Balenciaga.
“I started Vetements because I was bored of fashion, and against all odds fashion did change once and forever since Vetements appeared, and it also opened a new door for so many,” Gvasalia said in a statement. “So I feel that I have accomplished my mission of a conceptualist and design innovator at this exceptional brand, and Vetements has matured into a company that can evolve its creative heritage into a new chapter on its own.”
Vetements fashion consumers and industry insiders alike when it sprang onto the market in 2014, due in part to its ironic styles as well as Gvasalia’s unwavering commitment to nonconformity. Just three years later the Zurich-based brand announced it would cease producing traditional runway shows because Gvasalia considered them impersonal and wasteful. His answer was to host an intimate event inside Vetements’ Paris showroom accompanied by a young up-and-coming Viennese band.
And despite the break with tradition, Gvasalia’s against-the-grain approach worked. In the wake of its announcement abandoning the longstanding runway show format, Vetements became the third most-searched fashion brand globally, according to the 2018 Lyst Index report. On top of that Gvasalia was named one of the most creative and forward-thinking leaders driving the global jeanswear industry in last year’s Rivet 50.
But despite the high-profile departure, all signs indicate that Vetements is far from over. Gvasalia’s brother and Vetements co-founder Guram Gvasalia pointed to upcoming collaborations and projects shoppers can expect from the brand.
“Vetements has always been a collective of creative minds,” the co-founder said in a statement. “We will continue to push the boundaries even further, respecting codes and the authentic values of the brand, and keep on supporting honest creativity and genuine talent.”