Introduction on Vetements
Vetements was established in 2014 by Demna and Guram Gvasalia. They create a wide range of womenswear and menswear-inspired by everyday fashion and people. Demna was able to launch this brand already having experience in fashion after working with Maison Martin Margiela in 2009. As well as being the head designer for Louis Vuitton womenswear for two years in 2012. It was through Gvasalia’s connections with other houses that Vetements launch had attracted the attention of several buyers. It wasn’t until their Spring/Summer 2016 collection though, that the brand really took off into the mainstream, streetwear world with their biggest hit being a modified yellow DHL shirt.
Introduction on Fear of God
Fear of God was established in 2013 by Jerry Lorenzo and it started off with a rocky start. Jerry Lorenzo came from a background of sports, particularly baseball, not fashion. He worked as a party promoter in Los Angeles and a sports manager, Which is when he decided to launch his own brand. Not having a single clue of how the fashion industry worked, he found himself getting ripped off, and rejected at clothing stores because of his lack of knowledge that stores buy according to the fashion timeline of the seasons. Jerry Lorenzo often states that the reason he created this brand was so that he could create the missing pieces in his closet that he noticed were not available in the market. It was his connection to Virgil Abloh, Kanye West, and Justin Bieber that really helped launch his brand into mainstream streetwear.
Looking at Vetements and Fear of God, they’re both very pricey high-end streetwear brands that share a lot of similarities in how they market their brands to the world. With both brands having very unorthodox views of fashion there are known to be disruptive forces within the fashion industry. Even though they don’t follow traditional fashion industry norms they’re still very successful brands that continue to have successful collaborations with other brands and influencers.
Vetements and Fear of God have very similar target audiences, a younger millennial, gen z audience that live the streetwear lifestyle. One big social movement way they’ve been able to market towards this audience is by having genderless clothing. That’s huge in today’s social climate. They have a very innovative, cool, authentic image which they often showcase on Instagram. Instagram is their biggest platform with Vetements coming in with 4.3 million followers, and Fear of God with a combined 2.9 million from their Fear of God and Essentials accounts. This means that they’re able to market to this big community of followers that they have just on Instagram alone, which is something they do by focusing the majority of their marketing of new collections on Instagram.
Keeping up with this digital strategy, they both focus on e-commerce, and don’t have brick-and-mortar stores. This is because they are aware of their target market of a younger audience’s e-commerce consumer buying habits. Consumers are able to purchase Fear of God directly on their website or on sites like SSense, and Mr Porter. The Vetements website on the other hand, often just redirects you to sites like SSense, and Mytheresa.
One interesting detail is that both brands do not follow traditional fashion trends, but their designs are actually influenced by their real lives. The majority of Vetements designs are influenced by the Gvasalia’s family fleeing the Georgian civil war. On the other hand, Fear of God’s designs are based on Jerry Lorenzo seeing missing pieces in the fashion industry that he himself would want in his closet.
Both fashion brands have influential leaders that do not follow the traditional fashion schedules and they only present collections whenever they feel like it. This is very different from traditional high-end brands. This also explains why they’re mainly available for purchase online, since stores like to purchase with a buying window alongside the fashion scheduled seasons.
The high-end of the fear of God collection has a price point that is similar to that of Vetements. An example of this is a plain, basic, hoodie that both brands sell. The Fear of God hoodies come in at just under $700, while the Vetements hoodies are just under $850. This is pretty pricey for a hoodie However the fabric in factories they use they claim to be very expensive. Vetements has even stated that the fabric they use for their hoodies is twice as heavy than regular hoodie fabric, noting that this kind of quality fabric is the reason the hoodies are so expensive.
Both brands have noted that they’re trying to stay clear of the streetwear title and want to be looked at as more of a luxury contemporary fashion brand. However, this is something they have yet to accomplish since their consumers are primarily those that live the streetwear lifestyle.
One edgier take to social media that Vetements has done to market their products is by creating a new Instagram account. This account is provocative and set to private so that only they can accept who can follow them. No one under 18 years old is able to follow them. This Instagram account instantly received a lot of attention because of the mystery they were able to create surrounding it and in just a few hours had gained hundreds of thousands of followers.
A very big significant marketing difference is that while Vetements pride themselves in being pricey and hard to get a hold of, Fear of God has created an Essentials line. This new collection is available at a more affordable price point and has even had restocks. This is very different from the Vetements brand because they are known not to restock anything. They believe it would be disrespectful to those that bought it, as it takes away from their exclusivity. Vetements actually impose maximum orders instead of minimums to ensure that product stays limited, mixed with their high prices, they create the allure of luxury and scarcity.
Vetements has said that they’re trying to promote this idea of “slow fashion”, so that consumers can save up and when they buy a piece they will cherish it for a longer time. This is a marketing tactic they use so that people commit to buying higher end pieces instead of buying new clothes and having to throw it out after two weeks. Vetements limits their production so that they have less of a piece, this way those who buy it can cherish it even longer. So Vetements makes sure that when something is sold out, it is sold out for good.
However, Fear of God’s creator Jerry Lorenzo, has stated that he wanted to have a collection that his family and friends could buy and be proud of, which is how the Essentials collection came to be. This Essentials collection is able to satisfy the market of high demand for Fear of God but at a lower price point. This marks a huge difference in marketing strategies because it makes Fear of God more accessible to those who cannot afford it while Vetements stays at a higher price point, maintaining their exclusivity.
One difference in their target audience is that Fear of God has created a line for kids through his Essentials brand. This means that there is another target market of parents. Meanwhile, Vetements only offers clothing for adults, and young adults alike.
Another difference in their marketing strategies is that while Vetements does do fashion shows Fear of God does not. Vetements has had very successful fashion shows that fall in line with their marketing strategy. They show that representation matters, having models that range from elderly White women to bulky Black men. This shows the world that they care about the representation of everyday people through their collection which is one of the biggest things they try to market. This is because they truly feel that their collections are influenced not only by their personal lives, but by everyday people. Representation is a great way for them to market their collection as well, because it also goes in line with their target audience; who really stress the importance of the representation of diverse people in today’s social climate.
Fear of God however, do not hold fashion shows, they make videos to introduce their latest collections as well as market to their social media followers. Everything Fear of God does is done without investors or partners, and they have stated they don’t have any real goals. This means that with everything they do, they follow their best judgment which puts every collection at risk of failing.
While Vetements has had successful collaborations with brands like Reebok, DHL, Umbro, and Tommy Hilfiger, Fear of God’s collaborations have made more sense from a marketing standpoint. From a collection with Nike, where they had completely new designs and not just new colors, to a campaign of their Sixth collection starring Jared Leto. Fear of God’s collection with Nike was a huge viral success, which proved just how popular Fear of God was. Fear of God also had a collaboration with Vans shoes that were sold at Pacsun, they became the most sought after Vans shoes ever. This also proved just how much of a demand there is for Fear of God.
Fear of God collaborated with Kanye West and did the merch for his tour, which was so successful that Justin Bieber then asked Jerry Lorenzo to do his merch as well. This was something he almost said no to since he didn’t want Justin Bieber’s pop image to taint Fear of God’s branding. However, the collection was so successful it even went to sell in stores, all while his branding remained intact.
Both brands have had very successful marketing strategies that have skyrocketed them to be at the popularity and demand that they are at today. The most successful thing that Fear of God has done is create the Essentials brand That is more affordable and satisfies their original audience. This was a really smart thing for them to do because it increases their consumer market, especially when taking a look at the target audience being younger generations who may not have built their wealth yet since they are so young. With Fear of God’s original line still present as a more high end luxury collection, they’re still able to rival brands like Vetements that only have exclusive, high end collections.
While Vetements has created this luxury, hard to obtain reputation, Fear of God has done the opposite and has created a brand to be more easily attainable. These are two drastic ends of the spectrum when it comes to fashion, especially within the streetwear world. It’s because of these very different ways that are able to work for them individually so well that they take so much pride in marketing their products in this way. Vetements marketing a scarcity, luxury, and exclusivity kind of brand works for them successfully because they are consistent and making sure that they do not restock or become widely available. This is what allures their consumers to want a piece of Vetements even though they may have to save up for it.
On the other hand Jerry Lorenzo’s ability to satisfy such a high demand for Fear of God by creating a more affordable brand while keeping his original high end luxury branding has been successful thus far. Even though Fear of God may not have as much allure in terms of scarcity or exclusivity, because of the Essentials brand, the original high end luxury brand is still sought after. The collections Jerry Lorenzo makes through his original luxury line still sell out on the Fear of God website even though they offer a more affordable line. This goes to show that just because the exclusivity isn’t as prominent, his consumers are still very loyal, and the Fear of God brand continues to be sought after no matter what.