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Demna (designer)

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Demna Gvasalia

(1981-03-25) 25 March 1981 (age 43)
EducationTbilisi State University
Royal Academy of Fine Arts
OccupationFashion designer
Loïk Gomez
(m. 2017)
RelativesGuram Gvasalia (brother)

Demna Gvasalia (Georgian: დემნა გვასალია dem-NAH gvah-SAH-lee-AH; born 25 March 1981), known as Demna[2] (/dɛmnʌ/ dem-NAH) is a Georgian fashion designer, currently the creative director of Balenciaga and the co-founder of Vetements.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Demna was born in Georgia in 1981, to a Georgian father and Russian mother. He fled to Tbilisi at age 12, during the 1992-1993 Abkhazo-Georgian war in Abkhazia. His family lived in Düsseldorf from 2001 onwards.[3][4]

Demna studied international economics for four years at Tbilisi State University[5] and later attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, where he graduated with a Master's degree in Fashion Design in 2006.[6]


In 2006, Demna collaborated with Walter van Beirendonck on his men’s collections.[6]

In 2009, Demna opened a showroom in Antwerp with Yuima Nakazato and Mikio Sakabe.[7] Demna joined Maison Martin Margiela, where he was responsible for women’s collections until 2013.[8][9] In 2013, he was appointed senior designer of women’s ready-to-wear collections at Louis Vuitton, initially under Marc Jacobs and briefly under Nicolas Ghesquière.[6]

Together with his brother Guram Gvasalia, Demna launched the brand Vetements in 2014, along with a small group of anonymous friends, displaying their work in small gay clubs in Paris.[10][11] Demna has said that his original purpose with the brand was to subvert the high fashion status quo.[10] Vetements’ first women’s ready-to-wear collection was presented at Paris Fashion Week in 2014.[9] The brothers were nominated for the LVMH’s Young Fashion Designer Prize after producing 3 collections.[12]

In 2015, Demna became the creative director of Balenciaga, succeeding Alexander Wang.[13][14]

In 2019, Demna departed Vetements to pursue new artistic ventures, having accomplished his goals with the company, telling Highsnobiety that he had "accomplished [his] mission of a conceptualist and design innovator."[15]

In August 2021, Demna collaborated with Kanye West, acting as the creative director for West’s second and third Donda album listening event, held at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.[16][17]

At the 2021 Met Gala at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, Demna walked the stairs with reality television star Kim Kardashian, both in his head-to-toe body feature obscuring Black Balenciaga designs completely masked, with Vogue offering that events rules had been rewritten.[18]

In November 2022, Balenciaga dropped its holiday ad campaign, featuring children holding teddy bears in leather harnesses and punk costumes, as well a photo that included an excerpt of a document from a court ruling relating to child pornography. The backlash against the images has been swift, with the hashtag #cancelBalenciaga trending across Twitter and TikTok and many accusing the brand and Demna of condoning pedophilia and child exploitation.[19]


Demna developed a unique style as his and Guram`s company, Vetements, grew in size and popularity. Much of Demna's approach still stems from his initial purpose of creating subversive fashion. Collections such as Fall/Winter 2017 included design inspired by archetypes, diverging from the typical haute couture method of radical redesign and avant-garde appearance.[10] Other common themes include baggy, loose-fitting clothing, and street-style jackets.[20] In April 2021 he presented his new Pre-Fall 2021 collection with the Balenciaga brand, marking a new line of design and personal thinking, as promoted by Vanity Teen magazine.[21]

Humanitarian work[edit]

President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili awarding Demna with the Order of Honor, symbolically given on the anniversary of the fall of Sokhumi.[22]

Demna has used his creative work to raise awareness of war crimes committed against Georgians, dedicating one of his Vetements' collections to this theme and featuring a downloadable application linking users to information on Georgia's struggles.[23]

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Demna expressed support for Ukraine and became an ambassador of United24, a fundraising platform initiated by the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.[24]


Demna won the International Award for Vetements and Balenciaga at the CFDA Fashion Awards in 2017. He also won the Accessories Designer of the Year award at the Fashion Awards 2018.[25][26] Gvasalia won the Global Women’s Designer award at the CFDA Fashion Awards in 2021. On 27 September 2021, Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili awarded Demna with the Order of Honor for his contributions to the popularization of Georgia abroad.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Quick, Harriet (14 May 2016). "Demna Gvasalia:目前来说没谁继承了巴黎世家". Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  2. ^ Haramis, N. The New York Times, The Greats: Demna, 13 October 2022
  3. ^ a b Disko. "Demna Gvasalia, creative Director of Balenciaga". www.kering.com. Archived from the original on 4 October 2021. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  4. ^ Jo Ellison (20 September 2019) Demna Gvasalia: the activist at Balenciaga Financial Times. Archived 2019-10-14 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Jo Ellison (5 January 2018) Balenciaga’s billion-euro plan Financial Times.
  6. ^ a b c Miles Socha (16 September 2019) EXCLUSIVE: Demna Gvasalia Exits Vetements Women's Wear Daily.
  7. ^ Pernet, Diane (6 March 2009). "A visit to FFI Showroom". A Shaded View on Fashion. Retrieved 9 May 2023.
  8. ^ Paton, Elizabeth (8 October 2015) Who Is Demna Gvasalia, Balenciaga’s New Designer? The New York Times.
  9. ^ a b Balenciaga appoints Demna Gvasalia as artistic director of the collections Kering, press release of 7 October 2015.
  10. ^ a b c Fedorova, Anastasiia. "Demna Gvasalia — New East 100". The Calvert Journal. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  11. ^ Fury, Alexander (16 October 2015). "The Label Vetements Is The Most Radical Thing To Come Out Of Paris". The Independent.
  12. ^ "Demna Gvasalia is part of the BoF 500". The Business of Fashion. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  13. ^ Milligan, Lauren (7 October 2015) Vetements Designer Named At Balenciaga Vogue
  14. ^ Cartner-Morley, Jess (7 October 2015) Balenciaga appoints Demna Gvasalia as new creative director The Guardian
  15. ^ "Demna Gvasalia Will Depart Vetements to "Pursue New Ventures."". Highsnobiety. 16 September 2019. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  16. ^ "Kanye West's 'Donda' Listening Party Was Brilliant, Provocative Performance Art". GQ. 6 August 2021. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  17. ^ Sidell, Misty White (31 July 2021). "Kanye West Enlists Demna Gvasalia as Creative Director for Donda Release Event". WWD. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  18. ^ "Kim Kardashian's Met Gala Look Rewrote the Red Carpet's Rules". 14 September 2021.
  19. ^ Noriega, Karina (7 December 2022). "Demna Gvasalia, el director creativo de Balenciaga, pidió disculpas por su "elección artística incorrecta" | EPU". El Planeta Urbano | EPU | Tendencias y Lifestyle (in Spanish). Retrieved 12 December 2022.
  20. ^ Cartner-Morley, Jess (6 February 2018). "'I don't think elegance is relevant': Vetements' Demna Gvasalia, the world's hottest designer". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  21. ^ Balenciaga Pre-Fall 2021 Collection 19 April. 2021. Vanity Teen.
  22. ^ საქართველოს პრეზიდენტმა სოხუმის დაცემის დღეს, აფხაზეთიდან დევნილი, მოდის დიზაინერი დემნა გვასალია ღირსების მედლით დააჯილდოვა, Presidential Administration of Georgia: 27 September 2021.
  23. ^ Vetements has created an app to teach you the history of Georgia, Dazed: 1 July 2018.
  24. ^ Creative director of Balenciaga Demna became the ambassador of United24, Office of the President of Ukraine, 28 July 2022.
  25. ^ Pike, Naomi (10 December 2018). "The Fashion Awards 2018: The Winners". Vogue. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  26. ^ "Qui sont les grands vainqueurs des British Fashion Awards 2018 ?". Numéro. Retrieved 19 March 2024.
  27. ^ "President Zurabishvili awards Georgian fashion designer Demna Gvasalia with Medal of Honour". Agenda.ge. Retrieved 11 October 2021.