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Demna Gvasalia Business Fashion issue
The cover of The Business of Fashion’s ‘The New World Order’ issuePhotography Willy Vanderperre, courtesy of The Business of Fashion

VETEMENTS’ Demna Gvasalia fronts BoF’s new issue

The Business of Fashion’s founder, Imran Amed, tells us exclusively how Balenciaga’s newly appointed artistic director is ushering in a new world order

In the last six months, the fashion industry has witnessed some tectonic shifts in power. Alexander Wang stepped down from his position at the helm of Balenciaga; Raf Simons and Alber Elbaz from their respective positions at Christian Dior and Lanvin. While the latter two houses are yet to appoint successors, Balenciaga has named Demna Gvasalia, the head and sole spokesperson for anonymous fashion collective VETETMENTS.

Since his appointment, Gvasalia has become emblematic, not just of these changes but of a new energy in fashion and a new approach – both creatively and commercially speaking. In the run-up to his inaugural collection for the house, The Business of Fashion has unveiled Gvasalia, as the cover star of their new issue, entitled ‘The New World Order’.

Alongside photography by Willy Vanderperre, the cover story will feature an interview with Gvasalia, who shares his “plans to roll out a dramatically different operating model designed to streamline the outdated fashion system”. Here, the BoF’s founder, CEO and editor-in-chief Imran Amed explains why they chose Gvasalia to front the issue and what, more broadly, he represents.

Why did you choose Demna Gvasalia for the cover?

Imran Amed: A couple of years ago, when the BoF team first came across VETEMENTS and included them in our BoF Spotlight, we were drawn to the creative energy of the brand in its nascent stages. Since then, we have been actively following VETEMENTS and have been excited by the impact it is having on fashion. As it turns out, I first met Demna’s brother Guram several years ago when he was living in London, and recently got to learn that he was planning for some important changes to the VETEMENTS operating model, which aims to address some of the problems in the current fashion system. Guram and I spent a lot of time together on our travels – in New York, Paris, London and Hong Kong – discussing and brainstorming how this new model might work. Our cover story on ‘The New World Order’ in fashion proposes some of these ideas as solutions to the broken fashion system.

What do you think he represents?

Imran Amed: I think Gvasalia is at the vanguard of an important creative – and commercial – shift in fashion, something we're calling ‘The New World Order’. Because VETEMENTS is a young brand without the constraints of an existing model, they can reinvent the way they do things set an example for the industry – not just creatively, but also in terms of how the actual business functions. 

Fashion is seeing some huge shifts in power at the moment – why do you think that is, and what do you make of these changes?

Imran Amed: Part of this is because there is a generational shift happening in fashion at the moment. Some industry legends starting to step back and others are just not changing the way they do things even while the world is transformed around us. This has opened up opportunities for upstarts and new players to do things differently. I think we are just the beginning of a huge change in fashion’s power structure.

The issue will be available to pre-order here from Wednesday 27th January and on sale from Monday 8th February.