Hans Ulrich Obrist: “Demna Gvasalia has become part of the Zurich miracle”

Demna Gvasalia is a fashion icon. The designer once founded the hip label Vetements together with his brother. Today, among other things, he is creative director of the luxury brand Balenciaga. At the GDI Retail Summit, he will be interviewed by Hans Ulrich Obrist, artistic director of the Serpentine Galleries in London. Here Obrist explains Gvasalia’s influence.
26 June, 2019 by
Hans Ulrich Obrist: «Demna Gvasalia ist Teil des Zürcher Wunders
GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute

Demna und Obrist

Demna, how did it all start? How did you become a designer? What was your epiphany?

I like to think about Demna’s work as oscillation and transition. He moves the everyday into
fashion and fashion into the everyday. He always creates a moment of surprise. And we need more surprises.

A sneaker can be desirable, and so can a T-shirt. A T-shirt by Demna is a distinguisher.

Demna made a striking move to Zurich and has become part of the Zurich miracle. In the early 90s, when I left Switzerland, there was still this avantgarde idea that you have to live in a metropole – and I moved to Paris. Today Zurich is a center among many other centers, attracting creatives, scientists, tech-companies.

To say it with Robert Musil: art can occur where we expect it least. The same is true for fashion. The Vetements show this week at the McDonalds on Champs Elysee: this was an unexpected context. It was again the creation of surprise. We are today experiencing a super fluidity of disciplines. The artist Etel Adnan says: identity is shifty, identity is a choice.


Demna Gvasalia will be inteviewed by Hans Ulrich Obrist at the GDI Retail Summit. Get your ticket now!

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