demna gvasalia explains the origins of vetements’ iconic dhl t-shirt

The brand got permission to use the logo in exchange for 20 shirts for staff.

by Wendy Syfret
19 May 2016, 9:27am

It's hard to imagine an item of clothing that has enthralled and divided the fashion set like Vetements' DHL t-shirts. The basic tee, emblazoned with the logo of a global shipping company, somehow managed to catch global sartorial attention. In the process of becoming an instant must-have, the shirt sparked conversations around how we assign value to certain garments.

In a recent profile with the Telegraph, designer Demna Gvasalia gave a bit of background on the cult item. A fan of forcibly transcending the status of everyday products by introducing them in new and foreign contexts, even he admits the collective "never expected a reaction like this." He explains the idea for the shirt came about rather mundanely: "It was such a recurring topic in my life. Every day someone was saying, 'The package didn't arrive, we have to stop working with DHL, we will be bankrupt by DHL.' DHL seemed to be more a part of my life than anything else so I thought, why isn't it in the show?"

Most amazingly, the rights to use the logo were acquired in exchange for just 20 shirts for DHL staff. You can't help but wonder if they're regretting that frugal deal now.

While it seems like a fashion fairytale, the designer is refreshingly frank about the realities of the cost of high fashion. "My friends very often can't afford the clothes. Like myself, I wear prototypes but I don't think I'm crazy fashion enough to go and buy those things. I'd rather go on holiday. I feel like it brings more use. Holidays are important. Holidays and quality time on your sofa." People might be divided over the brand's take on fashion, but there is certainly one thing we can agree on. Real luxury is time.



Text Wendy Syfret
Image via @vetements_official

demna gvasalia