Balenciaga’s Designer Just Pulled a Kanye

From now on, call him only by his first name, Demna

12/8/2021 8:50:00 PM

From now on, call him only by his first name, Demna

From now on, call him only by his first name, Demna.

Okay, then! He’s not the first fashion designer to go by his first name only. Valentino Garavani, for example, is often referred to simply as Valentino. Kenzō Takada went by Kenzo. (Cristóbal Balenciaga himself was also best known by just his last name.) But their names were also their brands, so it was arguably natural for them to become one and the same. Gvasalia — sorry, Demna — is perhaps the first fashion designer to actively request that the press call him something different.

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It could be a practical decision. A lot of people in the industry just call him Demna anyway, perhaps because they’re unsure of how to pronounce his last name. (It’s deem-nah vas-ah-liyah.) But his reasoning — “separating creative work from personal life” — is also in line with his recent output. He attended the Met Gala with Kim Kardashian West wearing a spring 2022 look that covered his face, and many assumed he was her (ex?) husband. (Kanye West, who collaborated with Demna for his recent Donda tour, has also taken to shrouding his visage and legally changed his name to Ye in October.) If anything, though, Demna seems to be pulling a Sia — using anonymity for self-preservation in a world where privacy is a luxury and as a way to cheekily mint his image as a pseudo pop icon. His fall 2022 collection, released today, is an embodiment of the idea that less can be more.

Read more: New York Magazine »

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