We know Kanye West as a rapper, but lately he’s taken up design with his “Yeezy” line. On Feb. 11 on the first day of New York Fashion Week, he premiered “Yeezy Season 3,” his third Adidas x Yeezy line. The show took place at Madison Square Garden in front of a live audience of approximately 20,000 and an online audience of 20 million. Additionally, he announced the title of his new album, “The Life of Pablo.”
Whether you love him or hate him, he must be doing something right to grasp the attention of everyone in the music and fashion industry.
Kanye’s Yeezy show was more of an event than traditional fashion shows. First of all, the venue was Madison. Square. Garden. How many designers show their collections in an arena typically used for concerts and athletic events? There was no catwalk; the models displayed the new clothing on pedestals while the album was playing in its entirety – something also very different than a traditional runway show. Additionally, the majority of his models were black, commenting on the lack of diversity of models in the fashion industry.
Second, the soundtrack to the show as his new album, “The Life of Pablo.” This mixes his fashion line with his music, the other facet of his creative expression. What a better way to promote his album to get all those in attendance to preview, and at least consider buying a copy when it is released to the public?
Third, tickets were made public for the show. In the fashion industry, this is something practically unheard of. Fashion shows during fashion week are made very exclusive; it’s invite-only. Most of those in attendance are magazine editors, bloggers and influential celebrities.
He didn’t just have a fashion show; he had an all-inclusive event. And it was made public for the world to see. It was reported that the show was streamed in 700 theaters across 23 countries. Tickets to attend the show were priced between $50-$135, and sold out in 10 minutes, according to West.
West one of the pioneers in beginning to change the way the public is accessing fashion. He is really one of the first to make a fashion show accessible to the public via purchasing tickets. West really made the show a spectacle, so those in attendance did not feel like their money was being wasted with a 20 minute runway presentation.
Events like this, especially in the fashion industry, are going to change the way designers consider structuring their shows. After all, fashion week is the best form of promotion a brand can get.