Why the Vetements and DHL collaboration came to be a branding success

By Jimena Zazueta

Vetements, as in French for clothes, is one of fashion´s most headlining brands out there. For those out of the fashion buzz, Vetements is the epitome of “anti-fashion” well known for sending shocking ready-to-wear pieces down the runway. Aside from their oversized hoodies and sock boot success, Demna Gvasalia, the brand´s designer, chose a very interesting partner to feature in one of his designs for the 2016 Fall/Winter collection, this being none other than the delivery service DHL. For any other designer label out there collaborating with an “everyday” brand might be too much, but for Gvasalia´s collections nothing is off limits.

Vetements´ runway looks. Source: Vogue Runway

A simple oversized tshirt, in the classic DHL mustard yellow with a small logo on the center, being sold as high fashion for 185 euros sure gave something to talk about. The shirt became the hit of the season and an iconic piece by the label, giving other luxury brands a run for their money while everyone´s eyes were suddenly on Vetements meme-like design. A couple of seasons later the designer created even more pieces with the delivery service and even used some of their trucks to create a Pop Up store in Hong Kong. As of now the label has moved on from their use of the DHL brand, but it´s always worth remembering why it remains such a bold statement.


DHL X VETEMENTS Tshirt. Source: Hypebeast

When thinking of the DHL brand, big yellow trucks and bold red font come to mind, but aside from that there´s nothing really that exciting about a delivery service. On the other hand for Vetements, edgy, shocking and sometimes confusing is the label´s brand staple; for both working together seems unlikely but the results ended up being better than expected.

One thing DHL has is it´s everywhere, their trucks are all over the streets on a global scale and their bold hues easily stand out. For a brand like Vetements that tend to a niche fashion following segment, not only does selling an Instagram worthy shirt do the job, it became such an iconic piece for them that their brand is now attached to every truck you see on the street, which truly speaking means a lot. For DHL becoming an inside joke amongst the fashion public is something not many “normal” brands can brag about; not only is a delivery service high fashion now but it was cool and ‘insta-worthy’.

The power a single article of clothing had, is something worth taking notes from even if you are not a fashion designer or own a global scale business. What Demna Gvasalia´s brilliant idea can teach us is the power of amusement, and connecting the bland with the over the top is the best way to brand in our social media ridden world. Bold statements pay off when they showcase your brand´s true colors and can help you gain visibility when connected creatively to your consumer´s everyday life.

In this specific example the wave of confusion and edginess that came from this specific collaboration were perfect at demonstrating the Vetements brand, sending out a message that nothing is off limits when it comes to fashion. For DHL acquiring a fun twist set them apart from competitors in their field, adding novelty to something so “normal” and going viral. If this makes you excited the next time you see DHL´s trucks around on the street, that means the job here is done.

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