Vetements' FW20 runway show was lit only by attendees' cellphones as a measure to keep the focus on the clothes. But it doesn't take heightened focus to see what the brand is doing with its new puffer jacket.
Vetements' two-tone padded down jacket, which has just released through MatchesFashion, is a clear homage to The North Face's iconic Nuptse jacket. The only difference is a riff on TNF's logo that reads "Vetements Limited Edition" — and, oh yeah, a whopping $2,028 price tag.
Why do they do this? — Following in the footsteps of Vetements' normcore DHL apparel and the Bernie Sanders logo spin at Balenciaga — where Vetements co-founder Demna Gvasalia is creative director — this intentionally derivative puffer coat serves as both a tongue-in-cheek nod and as a sort of test of what's considered fashionable. Will consumers buy what is essentially exactly the same as a TNF coat but for eight times the markup? Almost certainly. And that says more about consumers than it does Vetements.
Like the Nuptse jacket, Vetements' has a hood that can be concealed within the collar and a durable nylon shell filled with down. It also comes in a similar range of colors, with a blue variation on sale for $2,430 at Garmentory, and more colors likely on the way as the season continues. Without the blown up proportions and dramatic cropping that have characterized Vetements' other puffer coats — as well as Balenciaga's — we'll see if the name alone is enough to attract customers to a TNF carbon copy.
If Demna can make take the austerity of Bernie Sanders' and DHL and turn it into hype, there's no reason why he can't do it again with a winter jacket that's been beloved for nearly 30 years.