Arrogance seems to be in fashion right now, quite literally so. At least that’s the impression I am getting. What other way is there to explain the latest collections of Vetements, Balenciaga & Co?
They show leather bags that look pretty much like IKEA pouches for 1 Euro a piece (add three zeros and you have the price tag for a Balenciaga bag), jackets that are indiscernible from the vests security staff wear at airports (add two zeros here) and DHL shirts for 250 quid.
It would be funny if it was a joke, but it isn’t. All these items were top-sellers that people were literally lining up to pay hefty prices for. Why?
I guess the simple answer is: because they can.
Because money is not an issue for some, and plenty of people who can’t really afford those items were happy to jump on the bandwagon as well, in the hope to become part of an exclusive club. There was a crowd of buyers who seemed to go fashion slumming, you know, dress like a pleb for a day. This kind of slumming only works if you do make the point that you paid a small fortune for your clothes, so plenty of fashion labels were happy to cater to that exact target group with their designs. Why pay 40 Euros for a jacket if you can pay 2000? Even if it looks virtually identical, even if it’s only be discernible to the eye of a trained top professional that you’re not wearing the cheaper version, that you in fact paid ten times the amount of the more affordable item. Why did you do it again? Oh yeah, because you can. And the plebs can’t.
Welcome to our stratified world.
I’m phrasing it pretty drastically, sure. But when you’re part of the industry you can’t help but ask yourself from time to time whether people are actually fucking serious. The other option is to switch off your critical faculties and just roll with it. It’s just another trend, so what. Right? What’s wrong with that?
But I can’t see it like that. It’s more than a trend, it’s a statement – and not one I would wear with pride. It just speaks of a disconnect with reality to me. Or maybe I am the one losing touch.
The nonchalance with which people spend a monthly wage on a bag, only to declare it passé the next season has peaked in the pointless DHL x Vetements collection, which was presented in Leipzig and consisted of a run of shirts with DHL designs at the price point of 250 EUR. The press was swooning.: finally out of the comfort zones of Milan and Paris, at good last the spotlight was directed at a real every-day DHL Center, where attendants could feel like proper working people for a day. Cool poses in front of DHL boxes on Instagram included. And in the evening you’re just happy to be able to go back home and sink into your velvet couch.
What were the designers thinking? I honestly don’t know! I really can’t imagine them being serious with this. Seems more like they’re having a laugh at the expense of the entire fashion world. And the fashionistas don’t even notice it. Everyone’s just squandering their cash on logo-shirts and logo-bags and logo everything. And we’re still talking about a DHL logo here.
Fashion is dictated by the streets these days. Literally.
With all that said: I have nothing against DHL as a company! Those guys have certainly become a more important part of the infrastructure in our digital world, and I see my package delivery guy more often than most of my friends. I wouldn’t even mind a fan-shirt. But I’ll have to draw a line at the Vetement collabo.
‘Look at me, I can afford to pay 300 EUR for a shirt, Gucci, Balenciaga, whatever, as long as it’s already legible from far away.’ This logo hype is really getting on my nerves big time by now. So much so, that I get more and more drawn to labels like Celine that continue to impress with classic fashion and quality products, which are so much more important than logos. Celine doesn’t need to pull up smokes and mirrors in logo form. You perceive that the label offers quality pieces, and it’s also immediately clear that this quality comes at a price. What a stark contrast to all those labels jumping on the trendy bandwagon.
Is this really a way to distinguish ourselves? Wearing a logo? I mean, how far is this going to go?
Are we going to be blessed with a collaboration between Vetements and KIK next? With KIK quality? And will the fashion girls swoon over that collection too? Overrun KIK branches to get their hands on pieces for ten times their regular price only because the shirts sport Vetements logos?
In my eyes, this development is pretty sad, to be honest. Well, it’s good for DHL I guess. Those guys must be super pleased with the current hype. They’re definitely winning here, even if it’s guaranteed that the hype won’t last long.