Balenciaga has officially severed ties with artist Kanye West as a result of his abusive and antisemitic comments.
Balenciaga’s parent firm Kering informed WWD in a statement following the release of its third-quarter earnings report on Thursday that “Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects associated with this artist.”
Following his controversial participation on the podcast Drink Champs, which was broadcast last week, where he falsely asserted that George Floyd wasn’t murdered but rather died from fentanyl and made even more antisemitic slurs, Balenciaga started to distance itself from West. West’s runway appearance during the Balenciaga Spring 2023 show during Paris Fashion Week was reportedly removed from both the Balenciaga website and Vogue Runway on October 17.
A section on its website devoted to the three Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga collaborations, which debuted earlier this year, has also been removed, according to Balenciaga. Additionally, other internet stores no longer carried such things.
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West has lost one of his oldest and closest business colleagues in the high-end fashion industry with the breakup of Balenciaga. The two have been intertwined for many years, in large part because of West’s long-standing friendship with Demna Gvasalia, the creative director of the fashion house, which dates back to around 2014, when Vetements, the brand that Demna and his brother, Guram Gvasalia, founded, made a breakthrough in the fashion industry. The Gvaslia brothers assisted West with his Yeezy Season 1 line in 2015, and by the year’s conclusion, Demna had been chosen to lead Balenciaga.
As previously reported by The New York Times, West and Demna’s romance became significantly more stable in 2019. Eventually, after a lot of texting, the two began collaborating once more, with Demna serving as the design director for West’s Donda listening parties in 2021.
Demna said to The Times last year, “With Ye, I have something that I really don’t have with other individuals, where anything is conceivable.” “For me, speaking with him seems like regressing to the 8-year-old version of myself, when I was free of all these constraints and filters. We talked about buttons for about two and a half hours. These discussions encourage me to grow as a designer because I ask myself: “Yeah, why do we do it this way? Why do buttons? “Why package?” I had never considered that before.
As part of the brand’s ultimately disastrous partnership with the Gap, Balenciaga continues to collaborate with Yeezy in 2022. Despite the fact that West stopped his collaboration with Gap in September, a number of items from the Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga line were made available. In addition, as previously said, West maintained a close enough relationship with Balenciaga to be the first model to walk in the fashion house’s Paris Fashion Week presentation. However, as WWD observes, no pictures of West from the Balenciaga show remain on the brand’s website.
West wore a “White Lives Matter” shirt to the launch of his new YZY SZN 9 line, which of course instantly eclipsed his own unexpected presence as a model.
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