He’s anticipated to be the breakout star of London trend week – sitting between the movers and shakers and the shiny brown bobs, all the time carrying the identical vibrant blue baseball cap with the phrases Fashion Not Com stitched on the entrance.
However this man has no established affiliation with any of trend’s massive names and regardless of having over 250,000 Instagram followers, Beka Gvishiani, the 32-year-old Georgian behind hit trend account Fashion Not Com, nonetheless struggles to explain exactly why he’s right here.
“The style manufacturers don’t know the place to sit down me as a result of they don’t know what I’m – am I influencer? No. Digital? Am I press, or possibly reporter? Perhaps, however I solely write one-line present opinions,” he says.
That’s why he got here up with the cap – so folks recognise him. “I wasn’t anyone, so I bought this stitched on,” he says. “Now, although, folks say I’m an insider for outsiders.”
Gvishiani has turn out to be an in a single day Instagram sensation for his quick and pithy takes on the style trade, written in low-key Arial Daring font and posted on squares in “a vibrant shade of Colette [the influential Paris fashion shop] blue”. In often fawning however usually simply easy bulletins, his purpose is to “discover the information line that individuals don’t discuss – how at a present like Dior, it may be superb, however nobody thought in regards to the air-con and so we’re all sat right here, dying of warmth,” he says. “Or how everyone seems to be hungry.”
To the style world although, he’s additionally one in all a rising arm of critics who’ve gained entry to probably the most intently guarded cultural industries, just by dint of being both knowledgable or a fan. Others embody the prolific menswear Tweeter Derek Man and the type historical past YouTuber Vogue Roadman. Usually on social media – however hardly ever exhibiting their faces – they’ve changed bloggers and influencers as the brand new trade obsessives who’ve blagged a seat on the desk.
In contrast to most of those varieties, Gvishiani doesn’t submit merchandise, or pictures of himself. Regardless of makes an attempt at “gifting”, he all the time wears his personal garments to exhibits.
Gvishiani was born two weeks after the collapse of the Soviet Union, one of many “first technology of post-Soviet youngsters”. A trend obsessive who spent his pocket cash on copies of Vogue, he was learning enterprise administration in Tbilisi within the late 2000s when he first talked his manner into exhibits. “I’d e mail the PR to say I used to be a blogger, however as a result of I’d write in English, they generally let me in.”
He then befriended the style designer Anouki, and started working for her. In flip, she smuggled him into trend exhibits by making him pose as her husband, the place he took notes. “We didn’t have ID so I’d simply maintain up his financial institution card.”
Transferring between jobs, together with set design, bag ordering and branding, it wasn’t till the pandemic that he began to show his notes into one thing extra. “We couldn’t journey so I used to be watching all of the exhibits on Fashion.com [Vogue’s catwalk archive] and simply posting issues. I didn’t have pictures, so I simply wrote issues like a diary,” he says. His account title is a homage to the now-closed web site.
The entrance row of any trend present – who has been positioned the place, and why – is a political hotbed. However there’s a rising backlash about the way in which these occasions are typically coated. Of Gvishiani’s account, one senior editor at iD journal stated: “There may be a lot waffle in trend criticism, and a lot of the truth is hushed up on social media. Generally you simply need to know what occurred in 10 phrases, and even higher, the factor you may solely see when you’re there – the truth. That’s what he does.”
Whereas some journalists are likely to concentrate on simple reporting, this technology of social media stars is extra more likely to begin a dialog, typically essential, which has the facility to unfold virally on a medium that it controls. For that reason, trend is discovering its energy. That’s why Gvishiani has discovered himself seated subsequent to Julia Fox or Shakira, and why this season, he has been given full entry to the exhibits by the British Vogue Council – in addition to a window in Selfridges broadcasting his each submit.
“The trade is infamous, and … I additionally realize it’s absurd,” Gvishiani says. “However it’s additionally the absurd that I take pleasure in.”
As for the cap: “I believe folks know who I’m – however the males in my household, we go bald early, it’s a Georgian factor. So I’ll all the time put on one.”
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