Demna Gvasalia — renowned Balenciaga and Vetements designer, lightening rod, provocateur, prankster, appropriator in chief, and all-around enigma — recently sat down for a long, winding talk with WWD, and dude has some thoughts.
For starters, he doesn’t think his sneakers are ugly, at least not on purpose. As he explains it, his divisive Triple S is “absolutely a proportional exercise of footwear, and not any kind of gimmicky play with what was ugly or not ugly in shoe design.”
And it’s not just his sneaker’s aesthetic that he defends. Despite some strong evidence to the contrary, he says he’s “not part” of the current “ugly fashion” trend that has taken over runways – he’s “never liked ugly stuff really” – and that he “prides himself in being a tailor.”
“I actually can make a jacket for myself in one day with my own hands,” he told WWD, emphasizing that “tailoring, and the know-how and technical part of dressmaking were always [his] primary interest.”
Otherwise, for the tl;dr crowd, he’s living in Switzerland, is now a vegetarian, no longer drinks, reads the same book (“The Power of Now”) everyday, is eliminating pre-collections, and happens to be one of the few designers that seems to actively feel badly about fashion’s umbrella of toxicity, saying that, for him, “luxury fashion in the future is about inclusivity.”
Oh, and he also finds his reputation as a Godfather of Appropriation to be tired. “He accepts that he recently popularized the lifting and referencing of obvious signposts of consumer culture, but he traces the practice back to French artist Marcel Duchamp,” and sees his work as modernizing a long lineage of appropriative design and expression.
“It’s a big word everyone is throwing around left and right, but… it’s not Demna who started this,” he said.
You can read more about it at WWD.