Unveiled today, Vetements is taking over four Harrods windows to create awareness around the corporate overproduction the brand’s co-founder Guram Gvasalia says is destroying fashion and its surrounding world.
TRUST Vetements and the brand’s cultish cool to tackle the touchy subject of overproduction heads on. Launching today, four of Harrods’ store windows on Brompton Road will be dedicated to the Swiss label’s call for action. “We have the luxury of being a young, independent brand, which has the opportunity to speak out without being afraid of powerful backers,” its CEO Guram Gvasalia says over coffee in the suite of his Mayfair hotel. “The problem with sustainability today is that people look at it from the wrong perspective. Yes, where you produce and how you produce is super important. But what people are overseeing is something that’s right in front of our eyes: it’s about how much brands produce and how much consumers buy,” the 31-year-old brother of Vetements’ creative director Demna Gvasalia argues. “Since my first-ever interview I’ve been saying this: the basic thing of economics is the supply meeting demand. If you go to a shop and you see something on sale, it means it’s been overproduced.”
Over the past year, Vetements has been highlighting issues of overconsumption, staging waste-focused events at Maxfield in Los Angeles, Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, and Browns East in London. “But in this age, doing something once or twice isn’t enough. Our phone screens refresh so quickly that our attention spans have shrunk,” Gvasalia quips. He’s devoted the next twelve months to shining a light on the issue of overproduction with plans of fifty events worldwide starting with the windows at Harrods. Unveiled to the public this morning, they feature stockpile installations of clothes donated by Harrods’ four-thousand employees as well as original Parisian donation bins for charity, a regular occurrence on Instagram due to the “Vetements” logo featured on their fronts (simply meaning ‘clothes’). Throughout February, Harrods’ customers are invited to donate their own garments, the proceeds of which go to the NSPPC.
Gvaslia, who has been working on the projects for over a year, says he approached all the big fashion brands asking them to donate their stock. “Nobody wanted to take part. Not a single brand; really huge corporations. Everyone is afraid of admitting that they make more clothes than they can sell.” He spends his year travelling the world, trawling through department stores and boutiques, analysing the stock on display at various points of the season. “I find it particularly hard travelling in the United States during the sale, seeing all these luxury items on extreme discount,” he says. “There are mountains and mountains of clothes that were overproduced. Part of it is sold with huge markdowns, but what’s left becomes dead-stock. Statistically, thirty percent of what brands produce ends up in landfills. Garbage.”
What needs to change, Gvasalia explains, is the pride of the biggest companies in fashion, whose reported gross turnovers can only increase if they sell more merchandise. “At the end of the day, you only have a certain amount of people, who are actually willing to buy your clothes. No matter what you do, this number is limited. So instead, they have their own stores that they force their merchandise upon, just so they can increase their numbers.” In other words, the annual figures reported in designer interviews and reviews shouldn’t always be taken for granted. Nor should they necessarily be a source of pride. “For brands to become more sustainable today, they need to do one simple thing: have their supply meet their demand. It’s like throwing away food in a world full of hunger. Our planet is sick because of us, because we want more and more and more, without thinking of generations to come,” he reflects. And it goes for the customer, too. “Try to think, ‘Do I need all these clothes?’”
Gvasalia isn’t a big shopper himself. On this day – as any – he’s clad in his trusty uniform of all-blacks: jeans, a T-shirt and a hoodie. His wardrobe can be counted on a few hands, and whenever he acquires a new item of clothing he donates an old one to a relative. Asked if he publicises Vetements’ turnovers he rolls his eyes. “Of course not. It’s not the main goal. The goal is to create amazing clothes for people who want to buy them.” How do he and his designer brother take responsibility, then? “First of all we don’t have our own stores. Secondly, we don’t push stores with minimums. We’ve started to limit quantities,” Gvasalia says, admitting he sometimes puts a stop to buyers when they try to buy stock beyond their customer demand. “Of course, there are buyers that are amazing. Natalie Kingham bought 250 of our unicorn hoodies,” he says, referring to the buying director of MatchesFashion.com, “and they were gone in a day. But some buyers put debts on pieces that are just insane.”
What of all those coveted, perpetually sold-out it-items we hear about, then? “What brands do – which is very smart – is to limit the online stores, giving one store maybe forty pairs of the hottest sneaker. So of course it sells out,” Gvasalia explains. “I sold four-thousand pairs of sneakers on Ssense.com in four days, but this is not my goal anymore. It breeds greed. I’m not chasing numbers. I don’t need my company to be worth a billion. You can make money like that much more easily outside of fashion.” It’s perhaps an easy thing to say for the owner of a brand like Vetements, which sky-rocketed in sales just a year into their existence, in 2014, shifting hoodies at £600 and denim trousers – sustainably made out of recycled jeans, by the way – at £1200. “Our stuff is expensive because it’s limited,” Gvasalia asserts. “But then people go and buy the high street items that look like our work. I want to tell people: buy less, buy quality and buy long term.”
Last year, Vetements relocated their studios from Paris to Zurich in a move interpreted by some as tax conscious. Gvasalia begs to differ. “We moved the company to Switzerland because I wanted to protect myself from an industry I feel is toxic and wrong. I don’t want to be distracted by the wrong business strategies. I moved the company because I wanted to be left alone in a world where we can operate without distractions.” So there. Vetements, of course, stills show in Paris, like in January when the brothers borrowed an old flea market free of charge and invited guests to watch the show – styled in copious layers as a reflection of overconsumption – from market chairs already in place. “My show was completely sustainable,” Gvasalia nods. He says his commendable outlook is the result of age, of running a growing business, but also rooted in a childhood of extremes
In the early 1990s, the brothers and their family fled their native Abkhazia amidst the Georgian civil war. “When you see stuff as six years old that I don’t even want to share as public knowledge, you start to appreciate life. You start to understand that if you have to cancel a T-shirt because of a minimum, you don’t have to care. It’s not the end of the world,” Gvasalia says, raising his eyebrows. “I appreciate life because I know that things can change in one second.”
Hair color chameleon Blac Chyna has switched up her look yet again for an impromptu photoshoot in her own home.
The star is known to experiment with the boldest hair hues — even rainbow! — so it’s not surprising that only a few days into 2018, she’s giving baby pink a go. Chyna posed for a sultry photoshoot in her kitchen (because why not?) wearing a plunging, cleavage-revealing Fashion Nova dress and her millennial pink mane.
She didn’t keep the trendy hair color for long though. Soon after Chyna shared her sexy photos on Instagram, she posted another wearing a patterned bodycon Fashion Nova mini. But this time, she opted for a platinum blonde wig instead.
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Although her hairstyles don’t stay with her for long, Chyna’s lawsuit drama with the Kardashian family is continuing to follow her into the new year.
In October, Chyna filed a lawsuit against Rob Kardashian (the father of her 13-month-old daughter Dream) and his family alleging that he was damaging her brand and verbally and physically abusing her. But the Kardashians are fighting back.
Last week, Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian and Rob’s attorneys filed a “demurrer” objecting to and asking for a dismissal of Chyna’s lawsuit against them, in which the mother of two claimed the Kardashians were responsible for E! not moving forward with the planned second season of Rob & Chyna.
Soon after, court documents also revealed that Rob is denying all assault claimsalleged by Chyna, including that he grabbed “phone from her hand and violently knocked her to the ground where she landed on her hands and knees” and ransacked her closet. However, according to Rob’s statement, “She did not suffer any injury or harm as a result of any conduct by [Kardashian].”
From left: 18-carat white gold and diamond ring, £9,600, Chanel. White gold and diamond bracelet, £153,200, Van Cleef & Arpels. White gold and diamond ring, £34,700, Dior Joaillerie. White gold and diamond necklace, £66,600, Chaumet. Titanium, sapphire and diamond earrings, price on application, Adler. Muse morganite and 0.35-carat pave diamond earrings, £7,000, and snowflake 1.48-carat diamond cluster stud earrings, £6,500, both Birks, from Mappin & Webb. Pearl necklace, £2,190, Mikimoto. Snowflake crown diamond necklace, £108,000, Birks. White gold, black rhodium and diamond ring, £10,500, Annoushka. Rosee du matin double row flex diamond bracelet, £7,000, Birks, from Mappin & Webb. iamond and pearl bracelet, price on application, Mikimoto. Blouse, £350, Bella Freud, from Browns. Cards (part of set), £65, Thomas Lyte.
From top: snowflake diamond and akoya pearl necklace, £150,000, Birks. 18-carat rose gold and diamond interlocking bracelet and 18-carat yellow-gold and diamond interlocking, £4,950 each, both Shaun Leane. 18-carat white gold and diamond ring, £26,000, Messika. 18-carat white gold and diamond bracelet, £25,500, Chanel. 18-carat white gold and diamond ring, £32,728, Fabergé, from Harrods. Blazer, £720, Bella Freud. Champagne glass, £75, Lee Broom. Poker chips, price on application, Geoffrey Parker. Dice, £5, Aspinal of London.
From top: 18-carat white gold, diamond and tourmaline ring, price on application, David Morris, from Harrods. white gold and diamond, opal, sapphire and emerald necklace, price on application, Moussaieff. multi-strand diamond bracelet, £36,850, William & Son. 18-carat white gold and white diamond bangle, price on application, Stephen Webster. 18-carat white gold and diamond ring, price on application, Boucheron. Chess set, £690, Luke Honey. Dress, £580, MaxMara
Clockwise from top left: 18-carat white gold and diamond ring set, £12,600, Shaun Leane. White gold and diamond double row bracelet, £8,450, De Beers. White gold and diamond link bracelet, price on application, Pomellato. White gold and diamond fringe earrings, £16,000, Mappin & Webb. White gold, aquamarine and pave diamond ring, £8,400, Bulgari. White gold and diamond bow ring, £14,000, and white gold and diamond necklace, £66,600, both Chaumet
From left: platinum and diamond bracelet and platinum and diamond ring, both price on application, Harry Winston. Platinum and diamond collar, price on application, Boodles. Tourmaline and diamond ring, price on application, Garrard. 18-carat white gold, Mother of pearl, diamond and sapphire watch, £96,000, Breguet. Backgammon board, £4,250, Geoffrey Parker
Photographs Emma Thaler
Styling Bettina Vetter
Fashion assistant Stephanie Sofokleous
Make-up Amy Conley at Stella Creative Artists using Tom Ford Beauty
Nails Kimberley Nkosi using Chanel Le Vernis in Rouge Noir and La Crème Main
2017 was a year of suprises, and the fashion world followed suit. Some trends, like the rise of “athleisurewear” and the return of ruffles, were welcome additions. But other fashions left us shuddering, especially after models began sporting them on the runway, or style-stars started embracing them with open arms.
Check out this year’s roundup of the absolute worst fashion fads of 2017, and cross your fingers that they won’t sneak into the New Year, either.
Making their debut just in time for summer 2017, man rompers were the male fashion trend no one was expecting. Even still, more than a few brave souls sported them through the warmer months. There’s even a collection of Christmas and Hanukkah-inspired man rompers for the holiday party season.
For one day only, pizza chain Villa Italian Kitchen sold a two-piece swimsuit made entirely of real dough, cheese, sauce and pepperoni in what they dubbed “the world’s most mouthwatering bikini.” It was also probably one of the most expensive, too, at $10,000.
Sure, this concept has been around for a bit, but the bold trend really picked up steam this year. Favored by starlets and models who dared to bare, the risque look arrived in late August and hasn’t left red carpets since.
Cleverly repurposing loungewear as outerwear, the “pajamas as daywear” trend brazenly arrived in early 2017, wearing a smart, silken robe. The comfy-sleek look gained tractionwith celebrities like Gigi Hadid, Zendaya Coleman and Rachel Platten.
Having begun her career with small roles in CSI: NY and 90210 – as well as a small stint as a ‘briefcase girl’ on Deal or no Deal –Meghan Markle shot to fame in 2011 when she was cast as paralegal Rachel Zane in Suits.
Not her only reason for being in the spotlight, however, Markle has also been dating Prince Harry for the last nine months.
Confirming their relationship last November, Harry made an emotional appeal for the couple to be left in peace.
Instructing Kensington Palace to issue a statement on his behalf, Harry called Markle his “girlfriend” and noted that she had been the “subject to a wave of abuse and harassment” including a torrent of racist and sexist slurs by “social media trolls”.
Previously relatively quiet on the celebrity circuit, Markle met Prince Harry in Toronto in May 2016 during his promotional visit for the Invictus Games. Soon after she was photographed taking her seat in the royal box at Wimbledon.
While she is an ambassador for World Vision Canada as well as an advocate for United Nations Women, Markle’s father is a Hollywood lighting director and her mother a yoga instructor.
And while you may think balancing a role in a hot legal drama alongside humanitarian work would keep the young star busy enough, the star has also shown a keen interest in fashion.
Sitting front row during a number of shows at New York Fashion Week, Markle has shown her support to designers such as Tory Burch, Wes Gordon, Marchesa, Herve Leger and Tracy Reese.
Most famous of the quips attributed to the Austrian-born American designer Rudi Gernreich — now best remembered for his unisex creations and the topless bathing suit — was the dictum that “Fashion will go out of fashion.” As early as the 1960s, Gernreich foresaw a gradual winding down of the engine that had long propelled it: a pursuit of novelty and “modernity.”
“Items: Is Fashion Modern?,” the first show the Museum of Modern Art has devoted to the subject since Bernard Rudofsky’s seminal exhibition “Are Clothes Modern?” in 1944, takes up the multiplicity of questions provoked by a design field that, despite playing an integral part in all of our lives, continues to defy easy comprehension.
Never mind whether fashion is “modern.” What precisely is fashion in the first place? Is it just garments? Or is it a complex system, or an art form, or a cluster of random typologies? Those, among other hefty issues, will be taken up by the ambitious (and welcome) MoMA show, curated by Paola Antonelli, senior curator of the department of architecture and design at the museum — and a seasoned design world gadfly. The show will open in October.
A look from across The New York Times at the forces that shape the dress codes we share, with Vanessa Friedman as your personal shopper. Sent weekly.
To trace the history of fashion through objects and their ancient archetypes, the show’s organizers dipped into the material slipstream and fished out 350 objects representing 111 “typologies.” Just how deliriously diverse those typologies are was made clear by the museum on Wednesday with the release of a list itemizing the things to be displayed. And what a list it is, from kaffiyehs to kilts, flip-flops to guayaberas, pencil skirts to moon boots, Speedos to Spanx.
There is, of course, the classic little black dress, though rendered variously by designers and labels as disparate as Arnold Scaasi, Versace, Rick Owens, Dior and Chanel. There are platform shoes from Delman, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen, as well as some anonymous designers whose imaginations outstripped considerations as pedestrian as locomotion. There is, among the welter of things to be shown, a Rolex Datejust watch, some Lululemon Boogie pants and a pair of Olaf Daughters clogs no stereotypical Woody Allen character would once have been without. From someplace else on the spectrum of stereotyped wealth and consumption, there is a Birkin bag.
Hoodies and door-knocker earrings represent hip-hop style, or a variant of it. More conservative and demure forms of fashion expression take the shape of Thea Porter caftans, a pearl necklace, a button-down shirt and a bottle of Chanel No. 5. Another cause for eager anticipation is “Items: Is Fashion Modern?,” a publication bolstering the curators’ efforts to examine the profound effects that accessories and clothes have had on the culture of the 20th and 21st centuries. Perhaps as tantalizing as the learned essays and the weighty fashion discourse, there will also be a pop-up shop.
here are many sad things about coming back from holidays. For one, it’s the beginning of the end for that glowy skin you only get after about a week away from your desk and in the fresh air. But with a little prep and a bit of shimmer, you can fake that dewy look all year. Here is how I do it.
Prepping your skin is the most essential part of this process. I use exfoliators and pore-cleansing masks as part of my regular routine, which helps other products sink into my skin easily. My favourite is NSPA’s glow mud mask (Asda, £7). I also use a combination smoothing lightweight emulsion moisturiser (Bare minerals, £30), which adds loads of dewiness but has a lightweight texture that feels comfortable on the skin.
Apply a liquid illuminator all over your face as a base. I like the Buxom Cosmetics liquid highlighter in Divine Goddess (Debenhams, £21) for a really subtle “wet skin” glow.
I use a Real Techniques sponge (Superdrug, £3.99) to blend my foundation properly without leaving too much excess on my face. My favourite for a natural dewy look is the Bare Minerals bare skin foundation in the colour Walnut (Bare Minerals, £28).
I use concealer under my eyes, down my nose, and on the centre of my chin, which brightens the places the sunlight naturally hits my face. Decide where to put your concealer depending on your face shape. I use Too Faced born this way concealer in Medium tan (Debenhams, £20), which stays dewy even when it has been set with powder. I use pressed transluscent powder, rather than loose, such as Inglot Cosmetics HD pressed powder in shade 404 (Inglot, £12).
For extra glow I add a light contour to my cheeks using the Buxom Cosmetics hot escapes bronzer in the shade Maldives (Debenhams, £21). To bring back warmth to my skin, I add a touch of blusher, then complete by dusting a shimmery golden highlight on the highest point of my cheekbone, and the tip of my nose. Focus this shimmery highlight on the areas you want to enhance and bring forward. I love to use the Nip+Fab travel palette in Medium/Dark 2 (Superdrug, £9.95) which has the contour, blush and highlight in one.
Finally, add a little bit of a shimmery lip gloss to compliment your dewy skin. I am using the Buxom cosmetics lip polish in Sugar (Debenhams, £15) on top of my Nip+Fab lip liner in Espresso (Superdrug, £5.95).