Love | Hate: Is Kanye creating fashion or a fiasco?
Rapper Kanye West showcased his fashion line Yeezy Season 3 and his album “The Life of Pablo” at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 11. He announced the creation of Yeezy Season 4 on Thursday. (Creative Commons photo by Rodrigo Ferrari/Flickr)
This just in: Kanye West announces the beginning of Yeezy Season 4. Though it’s been just over a year since the premiere of Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 1, the hype is as strong as ever. The secrecy and celebrity appeal surrounding the highly anticipated fashion shows of Yeezy Season 2 and Yeezy Season 3 completely overwhelmed social media and created a cultural frenzy.
But is Kanye a creative genius whose art knows no boundaries, or an overconfident amateur with blind ambition? A&E columnists Nina Crosby and Daniel Alcazar discuss the legitimacy of Kanye West in the fashion world in this week’s “Love | Hate.”
It seems like every new notification that lights up my phone is a Twitter update from Kanye West.
On Tuesday, Feb. 16, West tweeted “I’m an artist … the definition of art – or at least my definition – is to be able to see the truth and then express it …” Though his ranting is both entertaining and concerning, I fully support his creative ideas.
An artist should absolutely be involved in the many aspects that make up “artistry.” Kanye has infamously crowned himself reigning king of both music and fashion, and with his industry connections, fanatical millennial audience and exceptional creativity, he is an exemplary fusion of music and fashion.
Beneath the many layers of Kanye’s eccentricity and the shrouding scrutiny of naysayers, I’ve seen the light. Venturing into fashion has uplifted Kanye as an artist, as Yeezy seasons have already become a cultural phenomenon that continue to excite and evolve. Kanye’s music has eclipsed the one-dimensional music industry, becoming conceptual art to be appreciated through fashion.
Sure, it’s easy to assume musical artists enter the fashion world to garner quick streams of revenue. But looking deeper into Kanye’s dedication and involvement with his line, it’s hard to say he does it for capital. He famously dropped Nike for Adidas, a fact he frequently reminds us of, because Adidas offered him full creative reign.
Why should we try to limit his capabilities and restrict him solely to music? His artistry has transcended the realms of music. As he delves further into fashion and design, he has introduced the world to a new side of Kanye West: Kanye the designer, Kanye who learned to sew to start his own production, Kanye who has put himself $53 million in personal debt for what he loves.
Kanye’s Yeezy line is a culmination of a love carried throughout his music career and personal life. People wouldn’t line up for days for the chance to purchase one of his creations if they didn’t feel their authenticity. With Kanye, fashion is no longer a sterile, abstract parade, but rather a multidimensional experience that he has tapped into with his music and designs. He is a true artist in every sense of the word, and you can’t tell him nothin’.
– Nina Crosby
Kanye West’s creativity is as bland as his new monochromatic Yeezy line.
West’s launch of Yeezy Season 3 was the most viewed piece of performance art ever; thousands of people sold out Madison Square Garden and tens of millions of people watched from around the world. But were people actually interested in seeing his new fashion line, or did they want to hear his latest album, “The Life of Pablo”?
Personally, I tuned in to hear his new album and I suspect the majority of the viewers did, too.
The fashion show was in fact a piece by performance artist Vanessa Beecroft, a longtime collaborator with West since his “808s & Heartbreak” days when he first started incorporating performance art into his act. West’s self-proclaimed “creative genius” had nothing to do with the Yeezy Season 3 performance, and he has even been quoted telling Beecroft, “I don’t care, just do whatever you want.”
Although West’s desire to expand his artistic expression by becoming a fashion designer seems sincere, the problem is that he is not creative enough. There is nothing groundbreaking about his clothing: His designs comprise oversized jackets and hoodies, tight undergarments and baggy pants in monochromatic tones. It is also nearly identical to his designs for seasons one and two, so not only is his fashion basic, it is also stagnant.
West does not have the talent to be successful in the fashion world, at least not yet. But, honestly, I kind of feel bad for him. Being surrounded by “yes men” telling him everything he does is great limits his potential to grow as a fashion designer. He himself has said that his musical fame limits him because he cannot be taken seriously as a designer.
West is stuck in a difficult position where evolving as a fashion designer will be difficult, and convincing the fashion world he is a legitimate fashion designer impossible. Instead, he should stick to where he started his career and where his strength lies: music.
– Daniel Alcazar