Earlier this week Highsnobiety published a controversial article that indicated Vetements was on the verge of being dead as a brand. However, just a day later WWD, published a counterargument sharing that the trademark was still going strong. Salute takes a look at both stories and answers the main question, “Is Vetements really on the verge of being dead as a brand?”
Highnobiety’s story relied on statements from former Vetements employees, sales associates that have been around the fashion house and buyers who decided to remain anonymous. One said,
“From a retail standpoint, Vetements is completely dead. Over the course of two seasons, no one is even looking at it. Sales have dropped dramatically to the point where you are now seeing Vetements on sale on various outlets at 60-70% off.”
A former luxury retail manager added,
“Everyone is waving it goodbye already. The prices get to the point where you can’t justify it anymore and without that hype from the beginning to get people excited, they’re just like, ‘you’re having a laugh.’”
Additionally, others pointed out how the label’s apparel frequently goes on sale with markdowns of up to 50 percent.
Just last month Quartz fashion reporter Marc Bain pointed out that huge markdowns could indicate the brand may be going through financial difficulties due to their elevated prices. He tweeted:
— Marc Bain (@marcbain_) February 9, 2018
“In this case going on sale could be a result of the brand asking more than customers are willing to pay. Supply & demand might better align if a cotton T-shirt hoodie weren’t $890 at full retail. Just a thought.”
WWD’s counterargument was also filled with statements, but this time they were by executives from luxury retail stores in New York and LA including Saks Fifth Avenue, Harrods, and the Webster. Harrods chief merchant went as far as testifying that the label’s apparel was “flying out of Harrods.” In addition, another source vouched for the brand saying they had decreased their classic oversized silhouettes in order to increase consumer demand.
Furthermore, the publication provided an official statement from Vetements’ CEO Guram Gvasalia, who went as far as stating that the article was “fake news” and implied that it was written from a bias point of view, that was fueled by the writer’s own ego. He also went on to share that the luxury brand was actually “outperforming” this year compared to previous years and sales were up by 50 percent.
“Sadly, some journalists today are more concerned with writing fake news and reposting shocking headlines rather than checking facts to show the full picture,” he said. “It is especially upsetting to see some fashion writers, fueled by their personal agendas, attacking young independent brands while sucking up to big conglomerates for their advertisement budgets.
Vetements’ fashion designer Demna Gvasalia, also shared his thoughts on the stories with a post on the brand’s official Instagram account:
A Vetements reworked Levi’s 501s retails for $1,360, and its Tommy Hilfiger hoodies are priced at $895, which brings the idea that maybe consumers have come to a complete halt when it comes to purchasing expensive simplistic items that seem too simple for such a hefty price tag.
However, with the CEO and fashion designer of the trademark, making positive allegations affirming that the label is actually doing better than ever, it is unclear as to where the brand truly stands.
After analyzing both publications and further observation Salute has come to the conclusion that the luxury fashion house might be in a bit of trouble, though not enough trouble for it to be considered on the brink of being dead as a luxury label. In the upcoming months, it will be rather interesting to see which publication was right on where the brand is truly headed.
Keep reading: Vetements drops new collab with Reebok at MR. PORTER