THE VETEMENTS RULE

How the luxury market needs to change

by Sarah Fung , August 13, 2017
  • guram-gvasalia

I am sure no one in fashion missed the Vetements article in the Financial Times last week. It was pure gospel by the current demi-god of fashion, co-founder and Chief executive of Vetements, Guram Gvasalia.

Guram highlights how the industry needs to urgently change, the current formula doesn’t work and can not be sustained. Creating more and more pieces at a faster rate doesn’t solve the issues the industry is facing with dead stock and how this has lead to textiles waste being the second largest pollutant worldwide.

The Vetements rule is simple: produce only the amount required to be able to reach 100 per cent sell-through before discount / sale, thus making each item in their collection a limited edition, creating more desirability. He quotes;  “Luxury is like dating. If something is available and in front of you, it’s less desirable. Scarcity is what defines it. One of the ways to create scarcity is to reduce the supply curve. The more demand there is, the more desire it creates. Desire is the key value in luxury business.”

Of course, purchasing one of their pieces can easily leave you out of pocket by US$1,000 plus, so you could say it is elitist and unrealistic for most. However their statement still stands powerful as it clearly reflects how ‘fast fashion mentality’ and purchasing habits have affected our viewpoint and the respect of crafts in the last decade; the endless supply-on-demand cookie-cutter designs that available on every street corner, pieces that you, your friend and the person sitting opposite could all own at once and pieces that don’t wear well or keep, causing this throwaway culture we have sadly created.

Photograph: Guram Gvasalia © Virginie Khateeb