Last night, the Oklahoma City Thunder stole Game 1 from the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors. But, the conversation didn’t just revolve around Russell Westbrook’s impressive performance. Before the game, Westbrook arrived in a bright orange, ultra long sleeve Vetements shirt. Vetements is known for its ultra long sleeves, but who knew they they’d still be long on a 6’3” guy?
The Brodie is known for his flashy style off the court. During an interview with Complex, he told us that “it is very important to me to make sure my style is always changing and evolving to include all kinds of brands.” It was only a matter of time until Westbrook wore the insanely popular, wildly hyped Vetements brand, and last night it finally made it into the NBA player’s pre-game rotation.
But, has Vetements—one of the biggest labels in fashion right now—gone too mainstream? Did it get too big, too quickly?
vetements is uncool now— Lorde (@lorde) May 15, 2016
She went on to tweet that the brand became so successful so quickly and now “your lame friend down the road is buying a dhl tee.” She also agreed with a fan that Vetements’ all-white cast of runway models was “extremely tone deaf and a sad moment.”
we did that pretty fast planet earth came in hot for a solid year and now your lame friend down the road is buying a dhl tee— Lorde (@lorde) May 15, 2016
Vetements, since launching in 2014, has become the new “it” brand in fashion. Its designs—a hoodie that can be flipped backwards, that DHL T-shirt, oversized bomber jackets, etc.—are coveted by editors, street style stars, bloggers, celebrities, and, now, thanks to celebrity co-signs, Joe from around the corner. You’d be hard pressed to walk around the more stylish neighborhoods of New York, or open your browser to a style blog, without seeing at least 10 people wearing Vetements.
Part of Vetements’ appeal is the design—quirky takes on the Champion logo, for instance; a streetwear take on high-fashion. But a chunk of its success also comes from hype. There was the $900 Snoop Dogg tee that caught the attention of the internet, shortly after the sold out “Coming Soon” Titanic sweatshirt made headlines. Vetements has famously admitted that they plan to continue releasing pieces in extremely limited quantities, making these tees, jeans, and sweatshirts, all the more desirable. It also helps that it’s everywhere you go, worn by early adopters like Kanye West and Rihanna. As The Cut’s fashion news editor, Véronique Hyland, told us in another interview, it’s about “what’s exciting and what feels in the moment.” And Vetements certainly feels in the moment.
But that list of co-signs has grown to include Kylie Jenner, Travis Scott, and more unexpected names like Tyga (who’s actually been seen in the same orange long sleeve Westbrook wore last night), Selena Gomez, and Taylor Swift—the latter three of which aren’t exactly the kind of individuals you’d necessarily associate with a cooler-than-cool label. Regardless, Swift certainly seems to love her $1,655 Gothy, over-the-ankle Vetements boots—which she’s been seen wearing out and about and on her new Vogue cover.
It isn’t shocking that Vetements—one of the most talked about labels in fashion right now—is garnering all this attention, and being endorsed left and right by a large number of people. But, is it too much, too soon? Is a Vetements piece in danger of becoming the new Givenchy Rottweiler tee? Or the new Balmain moto jeans? (Remember when those were a thing?) The label has gotten so big its black raincoats spawned their own parody.
We can’t predict what’s in the future of Vetements. This past March, Vetements debuted its men’s collection at Paris Fashion Week, which could mean more consumers and more success for the label. We’ve heard whispers and rumblings of some high-profile collaborations in the pipeline, too. But, there is also some over-saturation taking place, and that’s never a good thing. Our advice would be for the brand to take Lorde’s sentiments, which she also shared in a tweet, to heart: “there’s no doubt in my mind that vetements themselves are fully aware and already have something even better rising from the ashes.”