Following his Fall/Winter 2018 Vetements show in Paris last week, The Guardian sat down with Demna Gvasalia.

In the interview, which called Gvasalia “the world’s hottest designer,” the Vetements founder and artistic director of Balenciaga discussed appropriation, his design influences, and what he thinks of the traditional fashion world.

Read our five best takeaways from the interview below, including why he chose to send Tabi boots down the runway and why he doesn’t think moving the Vetements headquarters to Zurich is a big deal. Then, head to The Guardian for the full article

On elegance:

“I don’t think elegance is relevant. Vetements is about the street, and on the street I don’t think elegance is what people are aiming for.”

On appropriation:

“Researching how Margiela influenced me as a designer meant touching on some delicate questions about influence and appropriation. It seemed important to me to ask those questions. I put the Tabi in because I wanted to directly address the issue of appropriation. What is a source, what is an influence, what is a copy? The answers are difficult to define.”

On relocating Vetements to Zurich:

“I do most of my research on my screen, so I can be anywhere; what does it matter?”

On designing for real-life:

“What is different about my point of view is pragmatism. The fashion world isn’t the real world and my aesthetic is a kind of hyperrealism. I am not interested in trying to live in some kind of dream. I’d be bored to death.”

On taking risks:

“Taking risks is something I got used to as a kid and that is in the DNA of Vetements,” he says. “In fashion now, you need to take risks to survive.”

Now, read how Raf Simons uses fashion to comment on designer drugs.

  • Main & Featured Image: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images
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Berlin-based writer and Rihanna enthusiast.