Fashion design is not Kanye West’s strong point. Even he doesn’t want what he does to be described as ‘fashion’ anymore. In a statement made before his Yeezy Season 4 show at New York Fashion Week, he said, “Let’s say apparel especially for the style of clothes I make. I’m not saying that this is a fashion proposition, I’m saying that this is a human proposition”. Okay Kanye…
He continued, “I want to make pieces that can be timeless. Pieces that you can pick up out of a vintage store in 20 years and say, ‘wow, I’m happy to have this’.”
If by ‘timeless’ Kanye means pieces you will still be able to wear along with your Marks and Sparks shapewear under your actual clothes, then he’s nailed it. Because really, who in their right mind is going to head to William Vintage in 20 years and ask for a flesh coloured leotard with matching cycling shorts? Come on, Kanye.
If by ‘human propostion’ he means boots so uncomfortable that you have to at best hobble in them, at worst actually take them off - as model Amina Blue did – because you simply can’t walk in them any longer, then once again, he’s got this in the bag. But I don’t think that was really the intention.
What’s more likely is that Kanye’s show was just a spectacle to sell more of his incredibly successful line of adidas Yeezy Boost trainers, even though the best sneaker aficionados out there only managed to spot three pairs in the show. Let’s set the scene for this extraordinary lesson in sport shoe promotion.
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The fashion crowd were ferried to the location, Roosevelt Island, in coaches that were likened by their passengers to school buses with no perks on board, not even water (which let's face it, isn't a perk, it's a human right!). The show was almost two hours late starting, but as this was one of Kanye’s infamous performance art installations, the models had to stand in the heat that whole time, also without any water. Some of them reportedly fainted, while others were offered water by spectators, not the Yeezy crew. And, as you might have gathered, the collection wasn’t exactly warmly received by the fashion critics, what with it being both totally unwearable and unwalkable for everyday life. But of course Kim Kardashian, Kendall and Kylie Jenner were there, so there will be plenty of positive press regardless of how the clothes looked or what the experience was like.
But back to those trainers. The Yeezy Boost line of shoes launched in early 2015 and retails at over £500, when you can actually get hold of a pair. They’ve been a huge hit, with sneakerheads queuing up on the pavements for the latest limited styles; they usually sell out within minutes of their launch. A quick glance at my Instagram feed this morning, and the trainer geeks are still waxing lyrical about the Yeezy Boost (I too am a bit of a trainer geek, hence my feed being full of such things). They couldn’t give two hoots about the furore surrounding the show.
Read more: How To Wear Trainers
Sneaker illustrator Dan Freebairn AKA @kickposters posted a picture of a Yeezy store opening in California, with a caption stating that over 200 more are planned for the coming year, while online magazine @sneakernews posted a compilation of shots of the three new styles they spotted at the show – the Yeezy Boost 360 v2 in all-white, tan and black/red (the last pair were on Kanye’s feet, top), in case you were interested. It’s like the launch of the new iPhone; for all the whinging about losing the headphone jack, there will be ten times more people willing to queue up for the latest model.
So there you have it. After all that spectacle, and putting aside the shambolic execution of the show, all anyone actually cared about was three pairs of trainers. Job done.