Kanye x Adidas @ NYFW – ARCH USA

highsnobiety video

My thoughts on Kanye and his fashion show: The guy has been in a dark place since his mother died. As an artist, everything he’s done pretty much represents that. Consider My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy released with a 30-minute film that showed the destruction of a Phoenix and the Phoenix’s inevitable rise. Hell even the YeezusEmpty album was a deconstructed musical adventure. You could literally call it an assault since there was nothing really musical about it.

That’s exactly what happened with this clothing line. The line really reflects where it is and that’s what fashion is all about. It is the reflection of the creator. Now it looks like the line is straight out of a post-apocalypse movie, The Matrix, and there really aren’t many details placed in the clothing, those who know what it is (or think that ‘they know, like me) realize that the focus here was never going to be on the clothes.

This was going to be Kanye’s all-out assault on Nike. Consider this, there really wasn’t a word at all about this fashion week show for a year and a half. Then all of a sudden, we get the Adidas Yeezy 750 Boost shoe shown off as Nike prepares to take over New York for the NBA All Star Game. Nike controls the media during this time when it comes to shoes. Who was Yeezy’s last footwear employer? Nike. What is Kanye doing? He orchestrates a compelling story that takes media coverage away from Nike and their annual attack on everyone’s pockets during All Star Weekend. Last week, the story wasn’t the All Star Kobe, Lebron and KD shoes, it was how ugly, terrible, and how bad his clothing line is for Yeezy for adidas. At 4:40 in the video above, he makes the following statement: “Don’t pay attention to anything you see on the news.” Here’s an artist taking the time to use the media to attack New York Fashion Week where he was ostracized by luxury lines and not allowed to create a line for those he had worked with. He makes his models the antithesis of what Fashion Week is. What happens? No one talks about the rest of the lines posted, they talk about Kanye.

The whole show was a solid performance piece and while everyone is laughing, take a look at the selling prices of his kicks on eBay:


At this time last year and the year before, the top selling shoes at this time of year were Nike Black History Month and Nike All Star Game and their Jordan Brand releases. I’m sure Nike will do even more numbers than Adidas this year, but honestly, no one is talking about Nike right now and it’s more like Nike than even Nike like Nike (does that make sense?).

I have first hand knowledge of the Kanye effect on Adidas. Over the past year, I’ve sold more adidas than I’ve ever sold in my sneaker store. Kanye’s work with Adidas is not the same as Pharrell’s. It’s not the same as Jay Z and 50 Cent with Reebok. Kanye’s work is fight rap. It’s an attack on Nike’s control over the footwear industry. I don’t think Kanye and Adidas have any real intentions of trying to displace clothes. Therefore, clothes have never been the focus. When listening to the start of her fashion week, Ye is doing promotional work for Adidas and Boost her new shoe technology. In the low-top running shoe used during the Fashion Week show, it uses Primeknit, a material that Nike sued Adidas for preventing them from using when Nike introduced Flyknit.

Ye does exactly what he wants. Is it a visionary line, no. Is it art? I think so. Would you buy a Pollack or a Basquiat if you didn’t know who they were? Probably not, but the teasing and laughing of people all over the internet is a sign of how people are able to react too quickly without considering all aspects.

At the end of the day, the guy created a line with a billion dollar mark, which he didn’t have to fund out of his own pocket. He was able to create what is rare for an artist today, especially with a company looking over your shoulder. NOTE: I’m not saying the clothes are dope! But, as an artist, I admire the presentation, the introduction of the new song, the lighting, the post-apocalyptic presentation, the release of the models in platoon/army format, the removal of traditional beauty in a fashion show, the deconstruction of NYFW. I could add more, but you get the point.

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