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Artistic Director, Balenciaga and Former Head Designer, Vetements

The head of Paris’ hippest design collective is now in charge of reconnecting consumers with Cristóbal Balenciaga's iconic legacy.


Demna’s status in the fashion industry was cemented when it was announced in October 2015 that he would be taking over as artistic director of Balenciaga. François-Henri Pinault, president and chief executive of Kering — parent company to the historic Parisian house — praised the designer as "a powerful emerging force in today's creative world." Demna’s first collection for the brand debuted at Paris Fashion Week in March 2016.

Alongside his creative directorship at Balenciaga, Demna — who studied at Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts — has retained his role as head designer and spokesperson for Vetements, the buzzed-about collective of seven anonymous designers where he made his name after rising through the ranks at Maison Martin Margiela and Louis Vuitton. After just three seasons, Vetements was nominated for LVMH’s Young Fashion Designer Prize. The brand quickly found traction with consumers and the industry alike. It’s couture take on streetwear sensibilities stems, according to Demna, from the brand’s personal focus group: his friends.

In an interview with The Business of Fashion , Demna explained, “We all met and realised how frustrated we were. We started to lose a sense of fun in fashion. We feel it is inevitable and crucial to create contemporary clothing. We are having a dialogue with today.” The collections born out of their project are minimal without being flat, edgy without the gimmicks. “The most important ingredient for us is the reality, what our woman wears to feel good,” the collective told BoF.

On December 5, 2016, Demna was named International Ready-To-Wear Designer of the Year at The Fashion Awards.

In June 2017, it was announced that Demna himself would receive the CFDA’s International Award for his work at both Vetements and Balenciaga. In December 2018, he was named Accessories Designer of the Year at the Fashion Awards. In 2019, he won the Creative Spirit Award at the Creative Spirit Scholarship Benefit Gala from the Pratt Institute.

Later that year it was revealed that Vetements would be leaving Paris, where the brand was founded, for Zurich. Chief executive Guram Gvasalia told BoF that his brother Demna saw the city as a “clean slate.”

On September 16, 2019, it was announced that Demna had stepped down from Vetements. 

In July 2021, Balenciaga launched its first couture collection since Cristóbal Balenciaga closed the atelier in 1968. Later that year in November, Demna was named International Women’s Designer of the Year at the CFDA Fashion Awards. He was also named a Leader of Change in Creativity by the British Fashion Council .

In May 2022, he was selected to the Time100 Most Influential People of 2022.


Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp

Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp

Tbilisi State University

Tbilisi State University

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What is The BoF 500?

The people shaping the global fashion industry, curated by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on nominations and on-the-ground intelligence from around the world.