Kanye West’s relationship with Balenciaga has finally witnessed its end. The company has reportedly ended its links with the rapper.
On Friday, October 2021, Balenciaga’s parent company Kering told Women's Wear Daily that they won't be working with Ye.
“Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist.”
Although the statement did not mention anything else, Kanye West’s recent anti-Semitic attacks and controversies may be the main reason.
Kanye West and Balenciaga have worked together for a long time. They recently collaborated on a Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga collection. Although his partnership with Balenciaga has ended, Ye has a multi-billion-dollar deal with Adidas. However, his 10-year contract with them is reported to be under review.
Balenciaga was acquired by Kering in 2001
Balenciaga was founded by Spanish fashion designer Cristobal Balenciaga. Cedric Charbit is the CEO of the luxury fashion house. Balenciaga is currently owned by French-based MNC Kering, which acquired it in 2001. Kering is also the owner of Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, and Alexander McQueen, among others. Balenciaga was the company's fastest growing brand in 2018.
Cristobal opened his Paris couture house on Avenue George V in 1937 and was called a revolutionary by the press. People used to travel to Europe in between the Second World War to see the company’s clothing. They also had an advantage at the time due to the short supply of raw materials.
The designers who worked for Balenciaga managed to open their successful couture houses, including Oscar de la Renta, Andre Courreges, Emanuel Ungaro, Hubert de Givenchy, and more. The company designed the French Team’s clothes for the Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992.
The company is famous for creating avant-garde and advanced structural pieces straddling the edge of fashion and forecasting the future of women’s ready-to-wear fashion. Their garments are popular among celebrities and models like Sienna Miller, Lara Bingle, Caroline Trentini, Tatiana Sorokko, Jennifer Garner, Stephanie Seymour, and others. The company's products are also used by actress Chloe Sevigny.
Alexander Wang later joined as the new creative director in 2012 but the company cut ties with him in 2015. Demna Gvasalia joined the same position in 2015 and announced Justin Bieber as their new face in September last year. The company also expressed its support towards Ukraine during the Russia-Ukraine conflict in March 2022 during Paris Fashion Week.
Kanye West and Balenciaga's fallout started last week
The cracks between Balenciaga and Ye's relationship began showing up last week after the luxury house removed West’s runway look from Balenciaga’s Spring 2023 show at Paris Fashion Week from its official website. Vogue also removed Ye’s photo from its coverage of the Balenciaga show.
While appearing on the podcast Drink Champs, Kanye West said that George Floyd was killed from a fentanyl overdose. Although the episode was removed from all platforms, the clips went viral, leading to backlash on social media.
Following Ye’s comments, he is being sued by Floyd’s family for harassment, misappropriation, defamation, and infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit will be filed on behalf of Floyd’s daughter by her mother, Roxie Washington.
Kanye West was also slammed on Twitter after he was spotted wearing a shirt featuring the words “White Lives Matter” to an event alongside conservative political commentator Candace Owens. BLM Grassroots criticized the act, saying that it can lead to toxic confusion and violence against black people.