The Gvasalia family do what they do best: make things happen.
The visionaries behind streetwear brand Vetements are on a mission to disrupt the fashion industry once again, first with meme-worthy collaborations and now with a new ‘secret project’ set to launch later this month -this.
Thanks to a new company she calls the Gvasalia Family Foundation, creatives of all genders, ages and backgrounds will have the opportunity to show off their talents without being tied to a traditional fashion conglomerate. Existing separately from Vetements, the foundation will work with a number of creative teams to turn their designs into reality, providing all the logistical and financial details, including technical development, production management, distribution – and even the mentorship – to the people they select.
Although fashion conglomerates own most of the biggest names in the industry, Vetements co-founder and CEO Guram Gvasalia believes the business model is tired. According to a recent interview with Vogue, he believes that the structure of the conglomerate makes it difficult for new designers to flourish, and that once a designer “superstar” emerges, his creations are used quickly to meet the demands of merchants.
It’s a problem that other players in the industry have tried to solve, with companies like the Giannetti factory serving as a one-stop-shop for brands of all sizes to come up with an idea and let its network of chain professionals procurement manage all the details. .
It’s also a concept Gvasalia alluded to at the WWD Apparel + Retail CEO Summit in 2019, when he announced Vetements’ plan to build a 30,000 square foot coworking center for designers that would be part of a larger program involving school presentations. and scholarships for promising talent. He said the brands would not be owned by Vetements and would instead maintain their own independent structure.
The Gvasalia Family Foundation noted that its “experimental lab” will ensure that new brands stay true to their creative aesthetic “and are not forced to chase market trends, or worse, sell their souls to the devils of the industry”.
On July 22, the company will present a new brand, the first in a long series, she says, inspired by traditional men’s clothing and tailoring, but aimed at all genders and ages. While none of the brands include logos, what these labels lack in terms of branding, they make up for it in terms of design. According to the company, each new brand will have a distinct aesthetic that is “recognizable from afar.”
Anonymity is part of the strategy. In his interview with Vogue, Gvasalia noted that every creation has an expiration date, and by operating as a collaboration as opposed to a company with a lead designer, product innovation is expected to skyrocket as a result.
And it already seems to be working. Just five hours after a screenshot of the Vetements Secret Project Instagram profile was posted on Vetements’ official Instagram, the post has garnered nearly 11,000 likes and 6,000 comments.
The hype is something the creators of Vetements know intimately. The brand first went viral after showing off its DHL t-shirt at the Spring / Summer 2016 runway, which featured stars Kanye West and Travis Scott in the front row. From then on, the brand became synonymous with hype culture, and was even greeted with skepticism when co-founder Demna Gvasalia announced he was quitting fashion.
According to Guram, some of the best fashion designs may come from people outside the industry – and that’s what he aims to find out through his new venture.
“I think when you bring smart people together with ideas, you can create things that don’t even exist: products, websites, or lifestyle activities,” he told Vogue. “I think there is huge potential behind being open-minded and just bringing people together. “