Demna Gvasalia (pronounced DEEM-nah vas-AH-liyah1) is the head designer of fledgling fashion collective Vetements, which after just two years has developed a cult following among fashion insiders. He is also the new creative director of Balenciaga. His first collection for the brand combined his urban streetwear aesthetic with Balenciaga’s craftsmanship and garnered rave reviews from critics. Vogue’s chief critic Sarah Mower called it a “surging visual high” while Cathy Horyn called it “tailored meets urban-friendly” , making him the designer to watch in the coming seasons following his meteoric rise in the fashion industry.
The 35-year-old designer was born in Georgia. He studied International Economics at the Tbilisi State University, then later moved to Germany where he was offered a job in finance, but instead decided to pursue a career in fashion. He moved to Antwerp and studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. After graduating, he worked for Walter Van Beirendonck. In 2009, he moved to Paris, where he worked for Maison Martin Margiela and Louis Vuitton. It was there that he, along with his friends, started the fashion collective Vetements in 2014.
Despite being a small brand, Vetements has clearly caught the fashion industry’s eye, as it was nominated for the LVMH Young Designer Prize. Given Gvasalia’s plans for the brand, such as choosing to combine menswear and womenswear in one show and showing off-season in order to deal with tight production schedules, it’s sure to gain even more attention in the future.
Below are our favorite creations by Gvasalia.