One of the things that makes Kanye West the most successful rapper in the game right now is arguably what brought him humiliation at the hands of the fashion industry -- twice. (You may recall he received rather negative reviews on both occasions that he showed his womenswear collections). To be specific: I'm referring to his monstrous ego and thus, his resulting lack of grace and humility. He had a serious chance when he showed in Paris a few seasons ago. He landed big name models (Anja, Karlie, Joan, Chanel Iman, Abbey Lee, Isabelli, etc.). Anna Wintour showed up, as did Carine Roitfeld, Azzedine Alaia, Silvia Fendi, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and Terry Richardson. Yet, he went about it all wrong.
I read something recently that spoke so well of Kanye's foray into fashion: "The industry is full of snobs who don't like celebrities using their status to get ahead." And that's pretty much what Kanye did. He showed in Paris. He oh-so-audaciously showed in Paris, the pinnacle of fashion month, among the likes of Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Lanvin, even though he is based in New York and designed/manufactured most of his line in London. He took the anti-Olsen twins as designers route. He didn't start small. He didn't prove himself. He didn't even attempt to mask his identity (the Olsens, for instance, chose an anonymous name for their collection, The Row, and attempted to hide behind a showroom, in order to gain respect as designers and not be disregarded by a "cynical audience of retailers, suspicious given the bad reputation attached to celebrity lines," as Vogue put it). Kanye did try, though. He presented a collection that speaks to his limited understanding of high fashion. He dressed some of the biggest-name models in luxe materials, and the result: stick-thin girls draped in ill-fitting leather and an excessive amount of fur (for Spring). And when it was poorly received, he threw a bratty rich girl fit.
But hey, that is Kanye's style. I mean, he chose to debut his rather impromptu filmmaking skills at Cannes. So, at least he is consistent. However, I'm not sure why we are remotely surprised considering this is the man that likens himself to Jesus in his songs: "They crucified me like they did Christ." Now let me go back to listening to New God Flow. It is hardly a secret that I have a love-hate relationship with Kanye. He is a great musician.