What do you do when the brand you founded just five years ago achieves cult status worldwide? You leave it behind.
Demna Gvasalia announced Monday that he is stepping down as head designer of streetwear label Vetements.
In a statement released to Women’s Wear Daily, the 38-year-old designer said: “I started Vetements because I was bored of fashion, and against all odds fashion did change once and forever since Vetements appeared and it also opened a new door for so many.
“So I feel that I have accomplished my mission of a conceptualist and design innovator at this exceptional brand, and Vetements has matured into a company that can evolve its creative heritage into a new chapter on its own.”
Gvasalia also said that he intends “to pursue new ventures,” though he didn’t specify what they are. His brother Guram, CEO of the company, confirmed his departure to WWD.
Founded as an anonymous collective in 2014, Vetements rose to fame for disrupting the industry with a highly unorthodox, satirical and purposely shocking approach to fashion – of which Gvasalia was main orchestrator.
The brand burst onto the ready-to-wear scene with $1,000 T-shirts and hoodies that often appropriated corporate logos from McDonald’s to DHL, and touched upon topics like Brexit, the EU, communism and Eastern-bloc politics.
It made headlines for poking fun at consumerism and capitalism, and was embraced by celebrities like Kanye West, Gigi Hadid and Celine Dion.
In 2017, Gvasalia decided he would no longer follow the “classic system” and opted out of fashion weeks.
Vetements’ shows were most often held in eclectic venues, from Parisian gay club Le Depot to a down-market Chinese restaurant and, for its latest collection, McDonald’s on Paris’ Champs Elysees.
Vetements’ boundary-pushing formula made Gvasalia so successful that, in 2015, he was named artistic director of Balenciaga. He is expected to present the brand’s spring 2020 collection at Paris Fashion Week later this month.
Some have speculated that Gvasalia’s departure from Vetements could be related to reports of declining revenue. Gvasalia has previously dismissed speculation of slowing sales, last year telling British Vogue that the label had been profitable from season one.
CNN has reached out to Vetements for comment.