The company has ended all communication with the artist.
It was only a matter of time before Balenciaga made the decision to reevaluate his relationship with Kanye West, who had been the subject of controversy for weeks due to a number of things, including the “White Lives Matter” t-shirt he wore to the Paris Yeezy show and a series of statements he made online before Twitter and Instagram both banned it. The association between Balenciaga and West, which inaugurated the most recent Demna show, necessitated countermeasures to distance themselves from what the rapper has done and said in the recent period despite the brand’s absence of formal declarations. The arrival of countermeasures has been quiet and nearly undetectable. Both Vogue Runway and the Balenciaga website, where the section devoted to Yeezy Gap Engineered By Balenciaga previously online, have removed the image pertaining to West’s appearance in the Spring 2023 show. Furthermore, online stores like MyTheresa, LuisaViaRoma, and Farfetch no longer carry the same cooperation.
Instead of making an official declaration, Balenciaga has instead taken a number of steps that make his objectives clear: to separate himself from Kanye West. On the other hand, if the decision made by the Kering group brand was both justified and evident, Demna is in a quite different circumstance. The creative director and the Yeezy founder have a long-standing, close friendship that began years ago and has endured over the years. The creative director and the Yeezy founder have a long-standing, close friendship that began years ago and has endured over the years. West, who has been a constant in the front row of the brand for years and who frequently refers to himself as “Demna’s straight spouse,” has served as both its ambassador and a contributing factor in the brand’s economic success. Demna described her relationship with Kanye West as “a really intensive creative interchange” in an interview published by the New York Times last year, and she had previously made clear how intense and everyday the relationship with West was. Therefore, it is challenging to imagine that Gvasalia will be able to distance himself from Kanye, while it appears more likely that the brand and its CEO Cédric Charbit will influence him to do so, at least from an economic standpoint.