“I wouldn’t say I’m trying to channel Mr. Balenciaga in any way, but I’m trying to understand how he saw women.”
Vogue recently sat down with Balenciaga creative director and Vetements lead designer, Demna Gvasalia. In the editorial Gvasalia shares his story, growing up, details about starting a business, his day to day life and Balenciaga & Vetements.
Gvasalia on Cristobal Balenciaga “I wouldn’t say I’m trying to channel Mr. Balenciaga in any way,” Gvasalia begins, almost cringing at the notion. “But I’m trying to understand how he saw women. He really respected and loved them—I see that in the clothes, the way he approached the body. He liked to fit on models who were not perfect. He liked to work with reality, and flatter it. I’m trying to work with that.”
On the difference between Vetements & Balenciaga : “Vetements is like Parliament,” Gvasalia says, laughing. “Everybody’s very outspoken and not afraid of sharing their opinion in a very brutal way. Here [at Balenciaga] it’s still a work in progress because the womenswear team is not used to this way. But they start to get there.”
On Splitting time between Balenciaga & Vetements : “I am here two and a half days, and at Vetements two and a half,” he says firmly. “I’m strict about keeping the weekends free, except at showtime. When we moved here, they asked me if I wanted something special in the office. I was like, ‘Speakers!’ I always have to have music the minute I wake up. It’s part of me. Starting with Serge Gainsbourg in the morning is probably more Balenciaga. It’s louder at Vetements.”
Songs of praise from other lead designers: Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s creative director—another designer in the Kering Group who worked for years behind the scenes “I like that he’s in search of a different kind of beauty,” Michele says, “particularly in an industry that has always tried to define and dictate beauty in the past”.
For a read of the whole article check out Vogue.