Kanye West has officially made his runway debut.
The 45-year-old Yeezy founder opened Balenciaga’s Spring/Summer 2023 show at Paris Fashion Week over the weekend, sporting an all-black, combat-ready look with a baseball cap and heavy-duty utility vest, both emblazoned with the word “Security.” ‘. ”
The runway itself, staged outdoors in the city’s Parc des Expositions, consisted of what appeared to be an ankle-deep mud flat.
West’s four children – North, 9, Saint, 6, Chicago, 4, and Psalm, 3 – who he shares with ex Kim Kardashian were reportedly on hand to cheer him on, along with Kylie Jenner.
Other celebrities in the crowd included Doja Cat and “Euphoria” star Alexa Demie, per Elle.
Later in the presentation, other models like Bella Hadid showed up in makeup that made them look bruised and beaten. The dramatic look came shortly after Hadid’s headline-making escapade closed the Coperni show, with little more than a spray-painted design applied in real time for those in attendance.
Balenciaga’s creative director, Demna Gvasalia, started the collection with the idea that personal identity would be a ‘battlefield’.
“You have to have courage and perseverance to really take on their identities and who they really are,” read part of his statement. “And the more you try to be yourself, the more you get punched in the face… The challenge is to get up and keep walking to your true self after you’ve been beaten up and knocked down.”
The mud-laden backdrop for the presentation was designed by conceptual artist Santiago Sierra, known for controversial projects that challenge social inequality. For one of his most infamous works – titled “160cm Line Tattooed on 4 People,” performed in 2000 – he paid a group of heroin-addicted prostitutes the cost of a dose of the drug in exchange for allowing a tattoo over each of them. their backs.
From Sierra’s set, Gvasalia explained it as “a metaphor for digging for truth and being earthy.”
Among those who responded to Ye’s first model railroad appearance was legendary designer Betsey Johnson. The “All of the Lights” rapper shared a screenshot of a text he received from the iconic 80-year-old fashion designer on his Instagram Stories.
“I felt a little emotional when you walked,” she wrote. “It felt very special.”
West replied, “After all the fights. Even this year I’m pretty amazing. I’m emotional too.”
“We have more fights ahead of us,” he added. “But we’re going to win. God is on our side.”