Kanye West just made his modeling debut in his latest collaboration with Balenciaga.
The rapper and fashion designer, who now goes by Ye, surprised the audience at the Spanish luxury house's spring 2023 show, as he opened the apocalyptic-themed presentation. Ye made his way down the mud-lined runway earlier today in Parc des Expositions, wearing a body military-style jacket adorned with a "security" patch and matching black leather trousers, with the jacket's hood pulled up over a lidded cap.
Ye opening for Balenciaga SS23 at Paris Fashion Week pic.twitter.com/1qyIJy87Vb
— Donda’s Place (@dondas__place) October 2, 2022
The rapper and Balenciaga creative director Demna have been longtime friends, with Ye hyping the visionary designer since his days at Vetements. During Demna's tenure at the Spanish house, the star has been wearing the brand near-exclusively. The friends even collaborated on a utilitarian capsule line earlier this year, Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga.
Ye's appearance also falls under Balenciaga's penchant for tapping superstars as models; their Couture show last July featured appearances from Dua Lipa, Nicole Kidman, and house ambassador Kim Kardashian.
In the notes from today's show, Demna described the dystopian muddy set, which included puddles and piles of sludge, as "a metaphor for digging for truth and being down to earth." He also expressed an intent to let the mood for the show, which took place amid puddles and piles of mud, speak for itself.
"I've decided to no longer explain my collections and verbalize my designs, but to express a state of mind," the notes read. "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."
The designer also wrote an anti-war sentiment, calling back to his notes for the house's winter 2022 show, which took place soon after Russia invaded Ukraine. "Let us let everyone be anyone and make love not war," he wrote.
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