Balenciaga Officially Ends Relationship With Kanye West After Controversies
Balenciaga has severed its collaboration with Kanye West amid the rapper’s latest controversies, including his recent antisemitic social media posts that resulted in his suspension from Twitter and Instagram.
“Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist,” Kering, the parent company of the fashion brand, told Women’s Wear Daily in a statement on Friday. The statement did not provide a specific reason for the decision.
The “Jesus Walks” rapper has long been tied to Balenciaga, including opening and hitting the runway for the fashion house’s summer 2023 show during Paris Fashion Week earlier this month. Balenciaga’s creative director, Demna, also collaborated with Ye on his Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga line.
Neither Kering nor Balenciaga immediately replied to HuffPost’s request for comment.
West’s relationships with other fashion brands also appear to be on the rocks. Earlier this month, Adidas AG put West’s massive sneaker deal under review.
And last month, Ye called off his two-year lucrative partnership with Gap, citing conflicting price points and poor communication. He also said the company was upselling his items compared to its typical collections.
“Gap’s substantial noncompliance with its contractual obligations has been costly,” West’s lawyer Nicholas Gravante told CNN in a statement at the time, alleging the chain had failed to open Yeezy-branded stores as part of the partnership.
Gravante added that the rapper was left with “no choice but to terminate their collaboration,” and would “now promptly move forward to make up for lost time by opening Yeezy retail stores.”
Prior to tweeting that he would go “death con [sic] 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE” this past Saturday, West sported a “White Lives Matter” shirt during Paris Fashion Week.
“White Lives Matter” is categorized as a hate slogan by the Anti-Defamation League. The Southern Poverty Law Center calls it “a racist response to the civil rights movement Black Lives Matter.”
During an appearance on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Oct. 11, Ye defended his decision to wear the shirt, telling Carlson: “I do certain things from a feeling, I just channel the energy. It just feels right. It’s using a gut instinct, a connection with God and just brilliance.”
He added: “People, they’re looking for an explanation and [they] say, ‘Well, as an artist you don’t have to give an explanation,’ but as a leader, you do. So the answer to why I wrote ‘White Lives Matter’ on a shirt is because they do. It’s the obvious thing.”
Celebrities including Hailey Beiber and Gigi Hadid and Vogue editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson swiftly criticized West for his controversial fashion statements.
During an appearance on “Piers Morgan Uncensored” on Wednesday, Ye issued an apology for his remarks about Jewish people but said he “absolutely [does] not” regret making them.
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