Kanye West’s latest fashion collection has come under fire after images posted to social media show the clothes being sold out of giant black bags usually used to hold materials and waste on construction sites.
The Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga line, which is being marketed as an affordable range due to its $40 keychains and $340 parkas, is being sold in bags in Gap stores across the US after West apparently eschewed hanging the items on racks.
“This is how they are selling Yeezy GAP,” Twitter user @owen__lang wrote in a post. “The sales associate said Ye got mad when he saw they had it on hangers and this is how he wanted it. They won’t help you find ur size too, you just have to just dig through everything.”
This week, West spoke to Fox News correspondent Eric Shawn about the in-store displays, insisting the concept would make shopping easier and more egalitarian, saying: “I’m an innovator, and I’m not here to sit up and apologise about my ideas.
“This is not a joke, this is not a game, this is not just some celebrity collaboration. This is my life. I’m fighting for a position to be able to change clothing and bring the best design to the people.”
Using the ‘homeless’ as design inspiration
Further miring himself in controversy, the Touch The Sky singer took to Instagram to declare that his design inspiration came from homeless people and children.
“Look to the children. Look to the homeless as the biggest inspiration for all design,” read the post, which has since been deleted.
Critics took to social media to draw parallels with the Derelicte fashion line from 2001 film Zoolander.
“Balenciaga & Kanye’s fetish with the homeless as ‘fashion muses’ it’s everything that is wrong with billionaires … they no longer see the plight of people, they don’t see humans that are suffering, they see opportunities to be ‘edgy’ and profit from it … it’s disgusting,” Twitter user @GrushenkaH wrote.
West and Gap announced a decade-long partnership back in 2020, with market analysts estimating the deal would generate more than $1 billion in revenue for the retailer, which had seen its global sales falling.
West himself insisted on a high street price point for the collaboration, saying: “I don’t want to use my message to have kids saving up that much, you know, to be part of what the ideas are.”