The times bring forth the man, or so the saying goes. And if these turbulent and transitional times in fashion — and the wider world — have been shaped by one person this year, it is the head designer of Vetements and the artistic director of Balenciaga, Demna Gvasalia, who graced the cover of BoF’s special print issue, The New World Order, in February.
Over the past 12 months, the Georgian designer has brought a couture sensibility to streetwear at Vetements, and conversely a streetwear sensibility to his work at Balenciaga, rippling throughout the global fashion industry and making him the most impactful voice working in fashion in 2016.
“The whole system just didn’t work anymore… There is no relationship between the creative vision and the commercial vision. This whole vicious circle turns and turns at a very fast speed and kills both the creativity and the business,” Gvasalia told BoF back in December 2015. On reflection, Gvasalia’s sentiments and Vetements’ resulting commercial strategy now appear impressively prescient.