The Vetements wave of 2016 felt more like a movement than it did a fashion trend. At the heart of it all was Lorde, Rihanna, and most notably Kanye West, who was the first superstar to seriously bat for the then-unknown Gvasalias, famously wearing that internet-breaking logo hoodie in the front row at Paris Fashion Week in March 2015. Not before long, it would become the most popular, most contentious, and most mispronounced (it's "Veht-mohn") label in the world.
Fashion, as the cliché goes, is nothing but cyclical, and nowhere was this more evident than over the past weekend when West stepped out wearing Vetements bits that had probably been gathering dust in his archive for the last five years. First we saw a bomber from Fall 2015, oddly paired with some adidas Predator five-a-side shoes (Sambas are just too obvious these days and all). Back in the day, West rocked an olive version of the hulking jacket, but this black colorway (curiously also seen in Playboi Carti's recent fit pic) is more in lockstep with the foreboding, Demna Gvasalia-directed DONDA aesthetic that has been developed in the bowels of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium over the past couple of months.
Just a couple of days before, West was pictured wearing Vetements' infamous $1,000 Snoop Dogg T-shirt — a product so controversial upon release that Snoop himself came out and lambasted the price point. Like the DHL T-shirt that preceded it, it's one of those pieces destined to end up in a museum as a testament to postmodern fashion aesthetics. It's funny to think how things can transcend into the realm of archival fashion in the absurdly short time frame of just five years these days. Good luck finding one.
"I was like this is the one, and that shit fucking blew up right," explained West, when asked about Vetements in a 2015 interview with Vanity Fair. "It’s like the No 1. Everyone’s waiting on it."
West and the older Gvasalia sibling's relationship goes back to the early days of YEEZY, where the Georgian along with the likes of Virgil Abloh, Jerry Lorenzo, and John Elliott all had creative input. It's only grown stronger in the years since, culminating in a kidnap plot that thankfully failed to materialize.
For all the talk of West's influence when it comes to breaking trends and brands, his own personal style is often deeply sentimental. It doesn't have to be new or even desirable for him to fuck with it: think his Eddie Bauer fleece, Prada Cinema shades, or Reebok Daytona kicks. He likes what he likes, sometimes for reasons that may seem opaque to the outsider.
Vetements may have long peaked in the eyes of many, but Gvasalia has ascended to become the most powerful force in contemporary fashion. West has been there for his pal since the beginning, and the clothes evidently haven't lost any of their allure for him. Who knows, maybe we'll all start to see "polizei" gear in a different light once more.