It was a big night for Gucci and for Demna Gvasalia, too at the 2016 Fashion Awards at Royal Albert Hall in London held on December 5.
Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele won international accessories designer, while the brand’s president and chief executive officer, Marco Bizzarri, took home international business leader. Both categories are new ones for 2016.
Gvasalia for Balenciaga won international ready-to-wear designer, while his brand Vetements scooped international urban luxury brand, a new category at the rebranded event, which was known until recently as the British Fashion Awards.
Within a couple of years, the fashion label Vetements has attained something houses that have existed far longer strain hard to regain: credibility. Along with it, a surreal level of hype has almost drowned out the young brand’s idealistic rationale. As encoded in its unironically straightforward name, Vetements was founded in a Paris living room with a simple mission: to bring the focus back on clothes.
Demna Gvasalia, the company’s gentle initiator, was born in 1981 in Sokhumi, a Georgian town notable for its charmed setting between the Black Sea and the Caucasus, as well as the extensive damage it endured during the Georgian – Abkhazian conflict of the early 1990s. After formally training to design men’s clothes at Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Gvasalia arrived in Paris in 2009 to work at Maison Martin Margiela, where he absorbed the technical mastery and garment-focused methodology of the house’s founder. A stint as a senior designer at Louis Vuitton followed, a job he quit in 2014 to devote all his resources to Vetements.