Right now, the fashion industry is heavily influenced by “ugly design” where many products have been able to troll their way to the top. Balenciaga’s creative director Demna Gvasalia is King of trolling the fashion industry and is so successful that Balenciaga was deemed as the fastest growing brand in 2017, just two years after Gvasalia took over.
Behold, the best meme fashion piece. These 4 full inches Balenciaga crocs took the runway on 2017 and left many people unsure of their feelings. But guess what, these capital-F high fashion platforms retailed for $850 and were sold out before they were even released.
Similar story with the Triple S: a monstrosity of a pair of sneakers with three soles that was so ugly it rose in popularity and sold out within a couple of hours. According to High Snobiety, these ugly “dad” shoes defined sneaker trend within 1 year and resale up to $1,162.
In the same year, Gvasalia reworked Ikea’s 99-cent tote bag and a classic paper bag in leather, both retailed at $2,000 and $1,100 respectively. Retailed, as they were sold out within a month.
Possibly one of Gvasalia’s most important piece to date is this DHL t-shirt. The only difference between this high fashion piece and the ones worn by actual couriers are the three stripes that goes around the back. For $250, there is no real “design” to the shirt but the clever, ironic idea of reworking the cheap and moving it to the luxury realm. Demna himself said he wouldn’t pay thousands for something refashioned, yet a lot of their products sell out instantly.
Another shocking piece from Balenciaga is the infamous life vest from the Spring/Summer 17′ collection that could belong on a raft. Worn by rappers such as Drake and A$AP Rocky, this piece is currently sold out and retailed at a ridiculous price of $2500.
Gvasalia once said “it’s ugly, that’s why we like it.” It memeable, its authentic – it draws attention. Meme culture takes over and his controversial pieces become viral. Your first instinct might be to mock it, but strangely you can’t stop thinking about them, let alone look away. Celebrities start to endorse in them, their value and popularity increases tremendously. These bright, obnoxious, yet nostalgic styles scream rebel, – a trait which many youngsters are drawn to, away from the norm.
Yes, high fashion is outlandish. But Demna Gvasalia is a genius who understands the era of social media and exploits the fact that all publicity is good publicity.
His pieces were designed to be controversial and funny, just like the memes we so dearly love. Through the buzz these absurd pieces create, Demna is able to stay at the top of today’s fashion scene and everyone’s minds.