by Katie on February 15, 2015


It’s safe to say that Kanye West’s brushes with the fashion industry have been tarred by his monstrous ego. Like King Canute, defiantly sat on the shore thinking he can turn back the tide, Kanye presumes that he can win in the fashion arena just through sheer force of will and laying it on thick with fash mag editors and forcing wife Kim Kardashian into a Balmain boobcage at every opportunity. This wouldn’t be so bad if the end product justified the means, but two failed attempts in Paris would suggest that Kanye is to fashion design what I am to epochal, boundary-crushing urban music.


It’s somehow fitting that the man who claims to have invented leather trackpants should collaborate with Adidas, the bona fide inventors of the leather trackpant, as worn by Run DMC in the Eighties. A case of hip-hop culture eating itself?

What does the rapper bring to Adidas, a sportswear manufacturer with critically-acclaimed collections with Yohji Yamamoto, Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott, and London digital print wunderkind Mary Katrantzou? After flirting with high fashion it seems that sportswear is returning to its naturalised home of the streets; Puma has Rihanna, Nike has its Gyakusou collection, an on-going partnership with Jun Takahashi, founder of cult Japanese label Undercover.


The fashion/art collaboration has virtually had the arse torn from it now, and the Kanye West x Adidas presentation was staged as a Vanessa Beecroft performance piece, models in military formation wearing little more than Spanx and a frown. The thought process behind something like this is usually “Well, we wanted the clothes to speak for themselves” when actually you become transfixed by all the lumps and rumps in nude nylon.  The collection was scattered sparingly amongst the models, as washed-out and drab as the presentation itself. Rick-Owens-does-Normcore-two-sizes-too-big. The key piece, the Adidas Yeezy Boost hi-top shoe, resembles an Ugg boot for the educationally-subnormal.


The collection is ominously titled ‘Season One’. I’m not so sure we can handle a second one. Aspiring MC’s and anyone with a Kanye hyperbole filter may lap it up, but if any one image could act as shorthand for this collection it would be the photo of Beyoncé’s resting bitch face whilst baby North screams beside her and Anna Wintour edges towards the exit. As with every corporation that’s overstretched its capabilities, maybe it’s time for WestCo to focus on its core business?

Review written by Lee Clatworthy (@bombfashion) for Katie Chutzpah blog. Imagery kindly supplied by www.style.com

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