A look from Vetements Fall 2021 collection. Gio Staiano for Vetements
Vetements chief executive, Guram Gvasalia, told Vogue Runway the brand’s Fall 2021 menswear collection was inspired broadly by “the hell we are all living through”. In some pieces, Gvasalia added, that was reflected in the blue streaks knitted into black sweaters and outerwear in the collected to look like paint splatter in a reference to the blue paint that Hong Kong police sprayed on democracy protestors (in order, in part, to be able to identify protestors later and more easily make arrests).
That interview is now the subject of a Diet Prada post on Instagram which questions whether the pieces are baiting controversy or an insensitive use of the Hong Kong protests as a fashion statement at a time when democracy activists in Hong Kong are being exiled or imprisoned for their part in the protests. Vetements did not immediately respond to BoF’s request for comment.
The reference to Hong Kong protestors is also unlikely to be received kindly by consumers in Mainland China, where any perceived support of democracy activists is likely to be denounced as being anti-China.