CLOTHES CALL: Just call him cover boy: Guram Gvasalia, cofounder and creative director of Vetements, fronts the latest issue of Forbes in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The issue hits newsstands on Wednesday, reaching about 200,000 readers across the region.
“We feature the most interesting entrepreneurial thinkers from the German-speaking region,” said Klaus Fiala, editor in chief of Forbes’ German-language edition. “When an interesting life story meets a hot business topic, we feature this story bigger. This was the case with Guram Gvasalia: A war refugee that turned the fashion industry upside down and now has to prove that he can build Vetements into a fashion powerhouse without the help of his brother.”
He’s referring to Demna, who now goes by only his first name and devotes himself to Balenciaga as its creative director.
According to Fiala, Guram Gvasalia “has proven that doing things differently, moving against the mainstream and not following old, outdated rules can be extremely beneficial for a company and a brand — if done the right way. The story also shows that hype alone doesn’t build a business and that fashion brands need more than creative geniuses to thrive.”
The article notes that Vetements, with 4.6 million followers on Instagram, is the third largest account in Switzerland after Roger Federer and Rolex.
The German edition of Forbes, which publishes 10 issues a year, only occasionally spotlights executives from the fashion world, with Sven Voth, founder and chief executive officer of German streetwear retailer Snipes, a recent example.
Last year Gvasalia also appeared on the cover of Forbes in his native Georgia. He fled that country with his family in the early 1990s, grew up in Dusseldorf and studied law, management and economics. After a stint at Burberry, he and his brother founded Vetements, the French word for clothes, in 2014.