Designer Demna Gvasalia named ‘Person of 2016’ by London fashion magazine

Demna Gvasalia's creative work has been recognised by global fashion professionals and reviewers this year. Photo by Willy Vanderperre for Business of Fashion., 22 Dec 2016 - 15:01, Tbilisi,Georgia

Award-winning Georgian designer Demna Gvasalia has been named Person of the Year by The Business of Fashion, a prominent magazine that follows the global fashion industry.

On Tuesday, the London-based online and print fashion magazine revealed Gvasalia - creative director of Paris-based fashion house Balenciaga - as "the person who had the most impact on the global fashion industry" in 2016.

News of the prestigious honour going to Gvasalia was announced on social media by leading fashion websites and publications.

The awarding team said the recognition aimed to highlight the creative work as well as the organisational influence the Georgian designer had on traditional industry models this year.

Gvasalia was at the centre of an initiative that saw Vetements - the French label led by the Georgian - establish an innovative cycle of presentation and delivery of their new designs.

Despite its comparatively small size and independence, Vetements was among the first brands to rethink and rationalise the ever-increasing speed and demands of the current fashion system - alongside much bigger players such as Burberry, Tom Ford and Tommy Hilfiger," said the magazine.

Gvasalia's initiative involved changing the time period of producing new collections and showing them at fashion occasions in order to increase life cycle of the designs at garment stores as well as to simplify the work of factories producing the clothes.

From the beginning we agreed that we would only produce two collections a year and we would not engage ourselves into making pre-collections. The creative part needs to be much more in advance of the market, and to offer something that is not out there, to challenge it and to make the market want it," Gvasalia was quoted by the website.

The Georgian fashionista was the focus of a special print edition of The Business of Fashion in spring 2016, in which Gvasalia appeared on cover page titled 'The New World Order', to highlight the impact of changes brought into the industry by the young designer.

Gvasalia's creative work has also been recognised this year by other fashion agencies and professionals; the British Fashion Council awarded the Georgian the 2016 International Ready-to-Wear Designer prize earlier this month.

The special ceremony in London also praised the designer's work when the International Urban Luxury Brand prize went to Vetements, led by a group of designers and also involving Gvasalia's brother Guram.

Born in Georgia, Gvasalia studied international economics at Tbilisi State University before graduating with a Master’s degree from Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Belgium, a school that has spawned famous artists like Belgian designer Martin Margiela.

The Georgian broke into the international fashion scene with his innovative creative vision at Vetements, and was picked by Balenciaga to replace outgoing American designer Alexander Wang as new creative director of the brand in late 2015.

Gvasalia presented his first collection for the famous label in March 2016.