Are you confused by what exactly Kanye West's fashion line, Yeezy, actually is? We'd understand if your answer is yes. Some of you may hear Yeezy and the sell-out sneakers come to mind. Some of you will presume it's simply an ongoing collaboration with Adidas. Many of you will know it for the paparazzi-crazed frenzy his epic staged shows produce, or the classic moment when North West and Anna Wintour were seated together on the FROW. I recall being at the first season's show back in the February of 2015 (privy to the aforementioned FROW-ment). Now we're on to collection number four, and I'm starting to unravel the reality, purpose and significance of what Mr. West has plotted out for your wardrobe (if not life). He is a mysterious dichotomy of a character at the best of times, so it's understandable that the music maestro's fashion foray wouldn't be any more obvious.
So, from yesterday's spectacle in NYC's Roosevelt Island (an abandoned smallpox hospital, to be precise), we clear up any questions you may have…
Yes. And no. Kanye has been developing his collections only within a tonal spectrum of utilitarian khaki, peach, russet, brown, ochre and every similar hue imaginable in between since he began. The majority of looks are tight-fitting and as about as naked as you can get (almost like a hardcore version of professional dancewear) without actually being a flasher. So if you've ever wanted to unleash your inner nudist but felt scared to do so, here's your chance. Simply pop on one of the outsized puffas or anoraks to balance out the exposure. And add heels. Talking of them…
We're sure Kanye isn't a masochist in the way some high heel designers are, but there's no denying the fact that you can either walk in these extreme shoes or you can't. Unfortunately many of the models failed to live up to the tall task. All future Yeezy shoe owners (whether opting for plastic thigh-high boots, baggy leather OTKs or simpler slip-on mules) should be aware of the risks involved. Just watch the video and learn.
That said, there is one particular style that has really gathered a large amount of A-list followers.
No. See? There's Kendall and Kylie as well. Sure, they're all insanely toned to within an inch of their lives, happy to flash some underboob (a radical styling thing that's gaining a fast pace—HELP) and feel comfortable constantly having their jackets only worn on one shoulder… But there were plenty of more relaxed, less skin-revealing creations on Kanye's runway too. Not to mention, we quite like the gold pendant necklaces.
As it stands, the Yeezy price tags are very high. If you want one of the currently available moth eaten-effect sweaters you are looking at £800—and that's in the sale. "I’m very focused on trying to make things far more affordable, far more beautiful, and for far more people," he told Vogue.com. So let's see what happens.
No. That was a different fashion venture entirely, which was retired after a couple of seasons. Kanye came bouncing back with a stronger, more focused, singular vision of army surplus meets body-con meets purposefully trashy instead… a formula we've definitely started to notice the influence of on the streets. Kanye himself revealed that so-called haters have been talked around, picking up pieces from the previous seasons to wear now.
Not only that, high-street retailers have cottoned onto the Yeezy effect: "I felt that when Zara took the colour palettes from Season 2, it was the biggest compliment we could have had," West said. "It made me a more authentic apparel guy. And by them doing it, it also made the world more beautiful." Fact.
Meet Amina Blue. A peroxide cutie with a pout to rival Kylie and a derrière to give Kim a stiletto-clad run for her money. However, the vegan model didn't suffer through the shoe situation and just kicked hers off halfway around the runway. Respect.
Rather than this being a collaborative effort all around, Yeezy sneaks have been produced with Adidas, and the German sportswear giant continues to support the line as it continues.
Kanye (for argument's sake, let's say like Karl Lagerfeld or Marc Jacobs, for example) knows the importance of an epic stage to showcase the season's mood. Hype and the potentially booming things that could happen on Instagram/Snapchat/whatever social media tool are the two most integral components of many a modern fashion show.
Some could argue that Kanye's methods make up for a lack of classical design training or a high-fashion perspective, but as he admits, he's not in the business of being "fashion." "Let’s say 'apparel,' especially for the style of clothes I make," he told Vogue. "I’m not saying that this is a fashion proposition, I’m saying that this is a human proposition."
What do you think of Kanye's Yeezy line? Shout out in the comments box below…