Yeezy Yes or Yeezy No – Could West’s Wrath be Wavering?

(This is an article I wrote, early this year, for a University project where we were assigned to produce a contemporary magazine) THIS IS SIN MAGAZINE

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Kanye West, the globally recognized hip hop recording artist, songwriter, record producer, former singer, entrepreneur and now successful fashion designer. Notorious for his arguably confident (or some might say arrogant) personality and his recent outspoken opinions which have received significant mainstream attention. West has been a frequent source of controversy and public scrutiny for his conduct at award shows, on social media, and in other public settings. However this year the wrath of Kanye West is alternating, he is remodeling himself into a contemporary fashion designer and is highlighting his opinions, views and ideas through clothing.

West has already collaborated with house hold designer brands such as Nike, Louis Vuitton, and A.P.C., he has been producing his Yeezy Season collaboration with Adidas which began in 2013. The 2016 Spring/Summer Yeezy collection captures West’s creativity and pride in his fashion identity though the garments the models wore down the catwalk at Maddison Square Gardens this February.

Instead of West ranting his views to the public and press through his speech, his catfights are now being spoken through his catwalk instead. Platinum-blond, fair-skinned models opened and as the show progressed the clothes, shaded from beiges and taupes to browns and blacks, and the models’ hair and skin tone got darker. At the finale they positioned themselves front to back, white to black. In a year in which racial injustice has occupied the headlines, it seemed as if West was making a radical, racial point giving his catwalk collection political meaning. This could be clarified through West’s previous publicized comments about President George W. Bush “doesn’t care about black people” during a live 2005 television broadcast for Hurricane Katrina relief. But if West was making a statement about inequality in America, he chose not to address it with this reporter. When asked about the casting, he said, “It’s just a painting, just using clothing as a canvas of proportion and color.” (Vogue) We’re not sure if we buy that Kanye, but if West wants to put the focus on his fashion, not his politics and other outspoken opinions, then we’ll play along.

This year the Yeezy vibe is a consistent one. Sweatshirts, leggings, outerwear, and boots remain the backbone of the collection. It’s still monochrome head-to-toe, and it’s still essentially unisex. Kanye West’s idea of Spring is defiantly fiercely streetwise. If West makes good on his promise at the VMAs last month and does indeed run for President in 2020, he defiantly cannot be wearing his casual go to sweatshirts and chunky boots and will be forced to get his campaign suits else where.



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