OG Appropriation Vetemann (2018) is a project which questions the originality of things that are branded and those that aren’t. Does everything have to be branded to be original? What does making original art, reproducing the artwork, and signing the work mean today? Does the work need to be signed to be original? Should we consider artworks of the artist as a brand product of the artist-brand? To which extent is something an inspiration, appropriation, original, or fake, and how does our value system work within these strata?
French clothing brand VETEMENTS has been posting cutting-edge questions on the fashion industry, which oftentimes are proposed through a brilliant twist. One of their past projects, <Official Fake> was held in South Korea, where the production and consumption of copy products of luxury labels are rampant. There, the head designer and the anonymous team have bought their own copies, readjusted some parts, and sold them back with the original price as a special event exclusive to the South Korean market.
"Luxury isn’t about price anymore," said Gvasalia. (co-founder of Vetements)
"It’s about scarcity." – W Magazine
Alongside many fake products lies also a named parody label, VETEMEMES. VETEMEMES raincoat is almost similar in its design, but the price is $59, being 1/10 of raincoats from VETEMENTS. VETEMENTS has issued a statement in regards to VETEMEMES to the New York Times.
"Vetements will not be filing any lawsuits over the Vetememes raincoat and hope that he has enjoyed making his project as much as we do making our clothes," Demna Gvasalia said." – New York Times
Regardless of Vetements’ relaxed approach to appropriation when it comes to their own brand, the question of the relationship between market and branding still remains.
The winner signed it first.
"Where does inspiration stand, when the outcome and inspiration are so closely knitted? Let's think of all the patterns inspired by geographic and cultural locations. It is free for companies to take the aesthetics from whomever wherever, but it wouldn't be free to take the aesthetics from the company. How absurd is it that a company basically tells the public that the product is inspired by something someone somewhere and gets away with it without paying the anonymous persons behind the aesthetics?"
The tab behind the neck isn't visible anyways.
"Is Vetemann a luxury since it is so scarce that it is nowhere to be found in the global market?" – www.l-mjangwebpresence.com
The three shirts made for the project are not for sale.