Interview with Vetememes: Fashion Meme Deep Dive Part 2
With the help of fashion meme titans like Vetememes, Meme Saint Laurent and Fashion Wankers, the ARCHIVE.pdf Team have interviewed all individuals to truly understand just how deep this fashion meme rabbit hole goes. From educating the masses on fashion, to their impact on the fashion industry, the toxicity and beauty of the community, and much more, today we’ll be revealing one of fashion’s greatest online mysteries: Fashion Memes.
Boy, do we have an interview for y’all today. Widely known for his creations of clothing and memes through his brand Vetememes, Davil Tran has contributed greatly to both the fashion and fashion meme scenes alike. From the brickwall days of Grailed to the currentday online landscape, the man (dare I say God) has proven to the world that fashion is both inherently valuable and lighthearted at the same time.
As part of our extensive Fashion Meme Deep Dive Series, we were able to make contact with one of the fashion meme OGs in the game, covering a range of topics from the creation of Vetememes to the relationship between fashion memes and the fashion industry, as well as so much more. Enjoy!
What were your first experiences with memes and fashion memes?
I pretty much grew around memes for most of my childhood. I'd say the earliest meme I could think of are probably the LOLcats, specifically longcat. I'm not sure if you're aware of this internet culture, but cats were a huge thing back then.
In terms of fashion memes, I guess Geobasket could be one of those. There's a board on 4chan called Fashion, /fa/, and I think that shoe was kind of clowned on for being just a funny looking shoe. It's oversized, its tongue is huge, and people just went with it. People made a lot of funny content when it came to that shoe. I think that kind of led me to an Instagram called Geobasket. I'm not sure if you’ve seen it. I haven't looked at it in a while, but maybe 8000 comments where everyone's just saying Geobasket on it. It's a photo of a Geobasket from 2014, and till this day people are still commenting Geobasket in it. So it's kind of cool.
Tell us about Vetememes and how that might have influenced how you approach memes.
So I had a little Skype group where we're just a bunch of fashion heads just messing around. This was very early, I'd say around 2014. And I think that Vetements was a huge thing back then, where in every style you would have the Vetements raincoat. It became a meme, and I just combined the two and made Vetememes. All the early shots of Vetememes were just me photoshopping memes at the end of Vetements coats. Vogue was one that picked it up at first, and it pretty much just snowballed from there.
I didn't even have a sample yet when it blew up. I was making them, but I didn't have any background in production, so this was me pretty much winging it where I tried to get as much as I could. I was doing pre-orders, and I totally fucked up the production time, where it took way longer than it should have. But overall people were really understanding which is cool.
Does Vetements know about Vetememes?
Yes, they definitely do. Demna actually responded in a New York Times article. They asked him if they would sue me, and he was like, "No." He actually was really supportive, which is cool. He thought it was cool, and it was very based of him to say that. So they're definitely aware of my existence. I think they shadowbanned me on their Instagram, though. I can't leave comments on their page anymore. I think they're pissed. I feel honored.
What are your thoughts on the community behind fashion memes?
I think the fashion community in general is kind of elitist by default. I think that a lot of people that do get into fashion have a certain... I see it like a certain mindset where, even if you don't want to gatekeep certain things, people tend to do it anyway without even knowing. The fashion meme community in general is pretty toxic, I'm not going to lie.
There are certain individuals that are pretty cool, like Karsten (Meme Saint Laurent) and Fashion Wankers. I think they get it to a degree, where they understand the community and where they're coming from. Though I think, in the end, it's memes. I don't think people should take it too seriously where they just get completely offended by it.
Vetememes is pretty toxic, I'm not going to sugar coat it. I want to say that the majority are toxic, but you can't control these things. People are on the internet, they're anonymous so they say whatever the fuck they want. I try to believe in free speech, but I try to moderate as much as I can. I don't deal with sexism or racist shit. I'll call it out if I have to, but fuck those people. They're not cool at all.
But in terms of content on Vetememes, there's no theme at all. I just post what I think is funny, and it's just whatever. I'm not taking it seriously at all. I honestly could be doing a much better job at advertising the stuff I'm selling, but I don't want to do that. It's boring. It doesn't feel right. I don't know how other people do it, but I'm just having fun.
When it comes to fashion memes, do you think that it allows people to get more into the scene, or do you think that makes people not want to be a part of it due to gatekeeping?
Well, to answer your question on gatekeeping, there's definitely a community around who just shit on certain brands and shoes or clothes, where they just make fun of it, which is kind of funny. I think people shouldn't take memes so seriously. Some people definitely do and just get offended by it. But there are also people that take it way too seriously, where they make fun of people that wear Converses with hearts on them. They shit on that to hell. Like, if you're wearing that you might as well sign your death sentence, essentially.
I don't really take it that far. I think other people do, but it's funny that they do make fun of things because I feel like a lot of these people that do make fun of it had them at some point, so it's ironic of them to just shit on people. I think people should wear what they want. I might just bring back Vlone just for irony's sake. Post it, wear it, and see what people think. But who knows?
I think anything is memeable, honestly. There's no security in anything you wear, you will get shit on by anyone for wearing anything. There's just things that are shat on. And, I think, the internet being the internet, people tend to gang up on certain things.
Do you think that fashion memes and fashion meme accounts have an influence on the market?
I think memes have penetrated the mainstream market in terms of luxury fashion. Balenciaga is a good example of that. I think Balenciaga, when it comes to marketing, is pretty sick. I commend them for doing such a good job at taking advantage of memes and using them to their advantage. The way they're posting their clothes is pretty cool. I think there's a specific type of memes where they're posting it a certain way. It's like cursed memes, and I think it's sick. It's cool.
In terms of other markets, I don't think memes have fully entered a market yet. I think there are people that just don't completely get it. And I think more so boomers are completely out of the picture when it comes to a lot of memes. I think you have to grow up in a certain generation to fully grasp it, otherwise they'll just think it's weird. Like, "What the fuck is this? I don't get it," kind of thing.
What are your thoughts on this type of relationship between meme accounts and brands in the fashion industry?
I respect companies that are willing to branch out and just let memes into their lives, because I think memes are the future. It might not seem like it now, but I think you are starting to see it with Wendy's Twitter account where they just shit on people for fun. That people are starting to make corporations look less unfriendly. Less corporate essentially, where they're just accepting the fact that we're human and we like to laugh and not take things as seriously.
How do you think fashion memes and fashion meme culture changed your own perspective on fashion? Do you think it had an influence on how you view clothes now?
I wouldn't say it changed anything. I don't really care about what other people think, and I think that everyone should follow that prospect. Because once you start caring, you're just like everyone else. You're just going to wear what everyone wears, essentially, and everyone should just wear what they want.
I definitely had moments where I looked like shit, but I just wore what I wanted. Do I regret it? Maybe a little. In high school I wore very skinny jeans, like skin tight. I was a skater back then, and I just wore what other skaters wore, and I thought it was the sickest shit ever. But looking back, it's like, "What are you doing, dude? You look ridiculous. Your shoes are huge and your pants are tiny."
But I think everyone should explore their own styles, because if you don't, you're never going to know what you truly enjoy.
Go even deeper down the rabbit hole of fashion memes:
Fashion Meme Deep Dive, Part 1: Falling Down the Rabbit Hole of Degeneracy
Fashion Meme Deep Dive, Part 3: Interview with Meme Saint Laurent
Fashion Meme Deep Dive, Part 4: Interview with Fashion Wankers
Davil Tran: Instagram