Vtmnts, launched last year and initially inspired by menswear and its sartorial codes, is now on the official Paris calendar for the women’s shows, reflecting its full embrace of all genders.
“I always say it’s about the clothes, it’s not about the gender,” said Guram Gvasalia, cofounder and creative director of Swiss-based fashion house Vetements, parent of Vtmnts.
He argued that menswear and womenswear are outdated and old-fashioned as terms and do not “really represent how the world is developing and transforming into a better place for all of us, who do not particularly want to identify as male or female stereotypes.
“Even fashion weeks are still separated by only two genders, making no room for anyone who does not conform,” he argued. “I felt it was time to do things differently and to show during the main fashion week clothes that speak to all genders.”
Gvasalia applauded that some model agencies are starting to introduce a nonbinary category “next to the typical boys and girls.”
Vtmnts was briefly on the preliminary men’s calendar in January, and its move to the February-March edition of Paris Fashion Week is fitting for a company that has experimented with an array of timings and formats for Vetements, flicking between the ready-to-wear and couture schedules, or sometimes sitting both out.
With tailoring a big statement this fashion season, and tailoring techniques applied to dresses at Fendi and Prada in Milan, Vtmnts comes to the table with its own unique approach.
In an interview, Gvsalia was wearing a prototype double-breasted jacket with a spaghetti-thick tube of fabric outlining the shoulders and sleeves.
“It creates its silhouette,” he said, also explaining the natural stretch properties he seeks out in fine tailoring cloth. “It’s about the fit of a garment. The hard part is to make it work on anyone.…The definition of good tailoring is when it fits everyone.”
Vtmnts “is built on garment construction using the most advance technologies mixed up with sartorial tailoring tricks invented centuries ago,” he added.
The nascent brand debuted last July with a spring 2022 collection unveiled via a look book drop, the clothes shown principally on male models and with bar codes replacing logos.
To be sure, the brand has made rapid inroads. Vtmnts is already carried in about 100 top retailers including 10 Corso Como, Antonioli, Adelaide, Boon the Shop, Browns, End, H.Lorenzo, Joyce, KM20, LuisaViaRoma, Maxfield LA, Saks Fifth Avenue, The Webster, Tsum and Ssense, trumpeting itself as “the most successful launch of a new designer brand in history.”
Gvasalia said the prices for Vtmnts are similar to its flagship Vetements brand, founded in 2014 by him and his brother Demna, who is widely credited with sparking the streetwear trend in fashion. (Demna stepped down from Vetements in 2019 and is now focused on Balenciaga, where he has been creative director since 2015.)
“We work with top factories and use the best quality of materials. We actually use the same factories as some of the biggest names in the industry and manage to give much adequate prices and higher quality,” Gvasalia said. “I’m obsessed with attention to detail.”
Gvasalia said he recently took over a 16,000-square-foot space across the street from Vetements headquarters in Zurich to house Vtmnts’ young team, which numbers about 20. The vast open space will also feature an on-site barista and employee eatery.
The Vtmnts show is scheduled for Friday at 8 p.m., and Gvasalia hinted at a “crazy schedule” for the brand in 2022.