Kanye West is known for many things, and after this past weekend, you can also call him a runway model.
On Sunday (Oct. 2), during Paris Fashion Week, West made his modeling debut when he opened Balenciaga’s apocalyptic-themed Summer 2023 show. The mud-soaked runway was surrounded by piles of sludge, surprising everyone in the audience, including daughter North West. Ye wore a black, oversized military jacket adorned with a “security” patch and leather pants. The billionaire artist also wore a hoodie over a cap, which concealed parts of his face—his preferred style in public in recent months.
Per Highsnobiety, Balenciaga’s creative director, Demna Gvasalia, never mentioned the terrain in his show notes except that the show represents “being down to earth.”
“I’ve decided to no longer explain my collections and verbalize my designs, but to express a state of mind,” Gvasalia wrote. “I hate boxes, and I hate labels … Individualism in fashion is downgraded to pseudotrends dictated by a post in stories of some celebrity of the moment.”
During a private gathering in Paris, West announced his 11th fashion show, YZY SZN 9. While seven of Ye’s last eight fashion shows took place in New York City, France provided him with the focus he needed. “Paris is the high cathedral of fashion. [So] if I’m [making] music, rap music, I’m going to put my hoodie on, get an Uber, and go over to Future’s house. Day after day. And if we’re working on clothes? Paris,” he said. The designer held two pre-YZY shows in Paris in 2011 and 2012; his most recent show was before the COVID pandemic in 2020.
When asked what could be expected from the collection, West said: “There [are] just people. From the same planet. And sometimes, in high school, it feels like we don’t fit in. And in a situation like this, we have the opportunity to come together to express who we are.”
You can see Kanye West’s runway debut video and photos down below:
— Vanessa Friedman (@VVFriedman) October 2, 2022
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