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Vetements Is Officially Abandoning the Runway Show

Demna Gvasalia broke the news in an interview with "Vogue."
A showgoer at Paris Fashion Week. Photo: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

A showgoer at Paris Fashion Week. Photo: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Vetements has changed much of how fashion — and the business' most devoted enthusiasts — approach clothing. ("Clothes" is the very definition of the brand's name, after all.) How else do you explain the sudden industry-wide desire for $1,300 "Titanic" merch, or $1,900 jeans with unzipping butt panels? In a new interview with Vogue, Vetements's fearless leader Demna Gvasalia filled the magazine in on what his wunderkind label may disrupt next, inadvertently or otherwise, and it's a topic fashion has already been discussing for some time.

In a story published on Friday, Demna told Vogue's Sarah Mower that Vetements is stepping away from the traditional fashion show system altogether. "We are not going to show in the classical system any more," he said in a phone call from Zurich, Switzerland, where he and his brother Guram, Vetements's CEO, recently moved the label's studio. He added:

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.

Of course, the exhaustion of the traditional show schedule has been the industry's primary topic of conversation for years, giving way to such ever-changing trends as "see now, buy now" and, as Demna mentioned, combining men's and women's presentations. And big-name houses have budged, most notably those digital-savvy brands such as Gucci, Burberry and Tom Ford. But for a label as significant to the current fashion climate as Vetements to cease its runway show altogether will certainly have its reverberations. 

Vetements is beginning its new chapter as soon as this month, when it will debut its Spring 2018 collection via private appointments to buyers and press rather than during couture week, as was originally planned. Guram discussed the move with WWD on Friday, saying:

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There are simply just too many shows. I find it a little bit insane. When there were fewer brands, fewer shows, fewer fashion weeks and collections, fashion shows were something to look forward to. Now it feels like there is one long fashion week that never stops and goes for 365 days a year. And the routine takes away the excitement.

Guram also noted that Vetements's mission is based in selling well-made, functional clothing for everyday wear — something that doesn't necessarily need an expensive runway production to help tell a deeper story. He told WWD:

Today shows have nothing to do with clothes anymore. Most of the looks are not even produced and therefore never get to the shop floor. Shows are there merely to sell a dream that at the end of the day will sell a perfume or a wallet in a duty-free store. [...] Showing clothes to sell something else [seems] neither smart nor cost-efficient. We are not selling a fashion dream; we are selling a reality.

Writing as a publication that covers this parade 365 days a year, Guram doesn't need to tell us this. But alas, we're curious how — and if — other design heavy-hitters will follow suit.

We've reached out to Vetements and will update this post should we receive comment.

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