Gvasalia is no stranger to controversy about his inspirations either, having faced lawsuits for some of the aforementioned pieces. But this time it’s not the law he’s facing: instead, it’s Courtney Love.
Love has taken issue with a t-shirt that appeared in Vetements’ punk-laden AW19 collection. Specifically, a (pretty undeniable) iteration of a shirt Kurt Cobain wore to take a jab at the music industry in a 1992 Rolling Stone cover shoot that reads, in all caps, “corporate magazines still suck”.
Admittedly, the Vetements design does add a phrase on the end – “a lot!” with an anarchic A – but that hasn’t stopped the backlash. On a May 18 Instagram post showcasing the t-shirt, Love has commented: “You guys WHAT the FUCK? I hate being put in this position. You should know better!”
Since Love has had a rocky past regarding her share of Cobain’s legacy – Rolling Stone reported that she sold a share of his rights in 2006 and she also allegedly lost rights to his image in 2012 – it’s not entirely clear whether the reference would be a potential infringement worthy of a lawsuit.
That time, though, Love had the fashion label’s back, expressing her support in a statement and praising the design on social media. We’re yet to see what comes of her quite different reaction this time around.