Rapper Kanye West appeared to be a no-show at his own Yeezy Season Five runway presentation during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday (15Feb17).
The Flashing Lights hitmaker unveiled his new urban clothing collection for sportswear brand Adidas at Pier 59 in a much more low-key manner than his previous fashion showcases.
At the September (16) debut of his Yeezy Season Four collection on Roosevelt Island in the Big Apple, many models fainted on the runway in the sweltering late summer heat while walking in broken stilettos. The hip hop star also received criticism for busing fashion reporters so far away from Manhattan for the outdoor event that began almost two hours late.
However, this time round, it appears Kanye made a concerted effort to simplify his presentation, choosing to showcase his clothes with far less fanfare.
A-listers such as U.S. Vogue editor Anna Wintour and French style icon Carine Roitfeld, the rapper’s sister-in-law Kylie Jenner and her musician boyfriend Tyga, and model Hailey Baldwin made an appearance at the show, alongside Kanye’s wife Kim Kardashian.
As the event commenced just a few minutes after its scheduled start time, members of the audience steered their eyes toward several floor-to-ceiling screens at the centre of the room which projected an image of models showing off their outfits. Kanye’s models then emerged in person on the catwalk, wearing the same clothing they had donned onscreen.
The looks in West’s Yeezy Season Five collection featured nods to the Chicago, Illinois native’s current home in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, with cities in the region such as ‘Lost Hills’ and ‘Calabasas’ emblazoned on some of the baggy sweaters, track pants, baseball caps and other items in the line. With the exception of a floor-length fur coat, most of the pieces in the presentation appeared perfect for everyday wear.
The star also appeared to make a veiled political statement by hiring Somali-American model Halima Aden, a hijab-wearing former Miss USA contestant who generated buzz last November (16) for donning religious gear at the pageant, to walk the runway.
This was a surprise move considering all of the strange press Kanye has been getting after meeting with controversial American President Donald Trump in December (16), weeks before the billionaire reality TV star-turned-president unveiled his failed ‘Muslim ban’ executive travel order, which bars people from seven Middle Eastern and African countries from entering the U.S.
When the show was over, Kanye declined to grace the runway and take a bow, leaving some attendees wondering if he even showed up to the presentation. There are also rumours he declined to allow credentialed press in to the affair.
Kanye’s Yeezy Season Five show was his first since he was hospitalised in November (16) after suffering a reported breakdown. New York Fashion Week organisers decided to drop him from the official event roster earlier this month (Feb16), claiming the star showed “disruptive” and “bad behaviour” by neglecting to inform them of his plans for his presentation.
Despite all the drama, Yeezy Season Five was a hit among the fashion elite, with Wintour showering Kanye with praise.
“I liked it a lot,” Wintour told The New York Post. “I thought his use of the screens was fascinating – and it started on time! (The clothes have) a little bit more focus than sometimes we’ve seen from him. I enjoyed it.”