Yesterday, Kanye West debuted his collection for Yeezy Season 2. First impressions from social media and other media outlets reveals 2 camps of thought, either you hate it or you love it. For those who were not able to view the show in-person or streamed lived at a local theater. Here is a synopsis of the collection; athleisure with strong inspirations taken from action and fantasy movies such as ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Hunger Games’ to name a few. Many people commented that his clothes looked like something that a “homeless person” would wear, which in my opinion is a tasteless and classless thing to say. Since it demonizes a particular subset and deems them almost un-human, but I digress.
If you actually think about it, what Kanye did was slightly brilliant. First he took a rather “low-class” way of dressing and trickled it up into the world of “high-fashion’ with zero fucks given (excuse my language). Secondly, he collided the world of music, conceptual art and fashion, which itself is not novel. Yet what made it brilliant was that he broadcasted the show in markets typically devoid of high-fashion. Effectively, Kanye created a media storm around his show and in the process continued the democratization of fashion.
As someone who appreciates art, I always have a soft spot for Kanye as I believe he does have a great eye and feel for conceptual and auditory art. However, the fashion student in me does have some issues with his collection. First off, his collection is the reason we are in the realm of an ‘anti-fashion’ movement. Having just recently worked on the Rick Owens menswear show during Paris Fashion week. I can tell you without a doubt there was strong Rick Owens feel to the garments, this extends to the Yeezy Boost too. That being said, I do not think his collection takes “us” any further in fashion. Rather it is just similar reiterations of other designers and collections I’ve seen even within the last couple of years. Additionally, Yeezy Season 2 looks just like Season 1.
I still have hope for Kanye. That he will continue to study and use the resources that he has available to him to create a totally new genre, textile, style or garment that changes the trajectory of fashion forever. At the end of the day, I don’t love or hate his new collection. Rather I just respect that he had the guts to go after a goal he has chosen to accomplish.