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Balenciaga Has Officially Dumped Kanye West

Jezebel 10/21/2022 Lauren Tousignant
Photo: Getty Images © Photo: Getty Images Photo: Getty Images

Following a particularly exhausting news cycle that included Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, bullying a Vogue editor; sitting down for an interview with one of Fox New’s most disgusting hosts; hanging out with Candace Owens; and making numerous antisemitic comments, at least one brand has officially parted ways with Kim Kardashian’s ex-husband.

Balenciaga’s parent company, Kering, released a short statement to Women’s Wear Daily on Friday, saying, “Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist.” The comment comes after the company’s third-quarter results were published on Thursday.

The musician opened Balenciaga’s Spring/Summer 2023 show in October, but photos showing his appearance have since been removed from the brand’s website, according to WWD. They’ve also been removed from the official collection photos on Vogue Runway.

West has had a long friendship and partnership with Balenciaga’s creative director, Demna Gvasalia (who only goes by his first name). Demna and his brother, Guram Gvasalia, worked with West on Yeezy Season 1 in 2015—and Demna was tapped to be Balenciaga’s creative director not long after. Demna also worked with West on his Yeezy Gap collection and Donda 2 tour. “There are very few people that I know, especially of Ye’s caliber, who really understand my work so well,” Deman said of West in an interview with Vogue earlier this year. “There’s no ego when we collaborate, just a mutual drive to evolve and do something great and new.” And in 2019, Demna told the New York Times, “With Ye, I have something that I don’t really have with other people, where anything is possible.”

West’s behavior has become more and more erratic since his divorce from Kardashian, including wearing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt at his surprise YZY show during Paris Fashion Week earlier this month. West “apologized” for all that by giving away said shirts...to homeless people in Los Angeles, with the help of accused serial rapist Ian Connor. It would take an entire dissertation to unpack that move, so we will just move on for now.

In the past, the fashion industry has stood by or stayed silent during West’s previous outbursts. But on October 6, Adidas announced their partnership with West was officially “under review,” adding that there were “repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation.” West’s Twitter and Instagram accounts have been suspended for hate speech—which led to him announcing his intention to buy Parler, the right-wing social media platform that’s coincidentally run by Owens’s husband, George Farmer. On Tuesday, George Floyd’s family announced they were planning to file a $250 million lawsuit against the rapper after he recently claimed on the podcast Drink Champs that Floyd’s death wasn’t a homicide but a fentanyl overdose. The podcast has since pulled that episode, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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