Kanye West’s Donda tour: Kanye and Balenciaga’s love story just keeps growing
In the midst of it all, Kanye West went shopping.
To recap, the last month at Kanye West has been a bit crazy: ahead of the ever-changing release date of his upcoming tenth studio album, Donda, Ye did a week-long artist stay in the basement of Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. He also hosted two major listening events, the last of which was led by Balenciaga Artistic Director Demna Gvasalia. A third event is scheduled to take place tonight at Soldier Field in West’s hometown of Chicago. Ahead of the performance, Kanye stopped by the Dover Street Market store in Los Angeles earlier this week and bought back all of Balenciaga’s stock (until the last item!), A Dover Street rep confirmed by th -mail.
Dover Street Party Balenciaga wasn’t Kanye’s debut pre-album, a shopping explosion at all costs. While recording his 2018 record you in Wyoming, Kanye bought 13 kitchen trash bags full of second-hand outdoor clothing from a vintage store in Victor, Idaho. But Balenciaga has been a constant in the Donda time.
As West and Gvasalia go back to the days of the designer’s creation at Vetements, Ye has made Balenciaga – which Gvsalia has been running since 2015 – a staple of her outfits and her creative process lately. During the second, led by Demna Donda event in Atlanta, Ye alternated wearing a long quilt-style floor-length puffer jacket and a rubber-spiked jacket from Gvasalia’s fall 2020 apocalyptic collection (shown, semi-apocalyptically, in March 2020 at Paris Fashion Week). The duo also collaborated on a commemorative t-shirt after DMX’s death in April that raised a million dollars for the family of the late rapper, and West attended Balenciaga’s first couture presentation in Paris in July.
Not that the stretch Donda fall process was pure Balenciaga. We saw a lot of Yeezy GAP puffers on Kanye. But Ye has been conspicuously heavy on capital-F Fashion lately. In July, he posted a flat outfit photo to Instagram (since deleted) featuring a slew of pieces from French luxury conglomerate Kering, Balenciaga, as well as Bottega Veneta and Saint Laurent. It also looks like Kanye has really hit Dover Street lately; he was spotted at the ultra-cool LA retailer on August 16, browsing the Raf Simons rack while wearing his new favorite accessory: a full hood-style face cover.
Where Kanye’s penchant for utilitarian clothing is well documented and has shaped almost all of his Yeezy collections so far, the clothes he’s obsessed with this time around are either hyper-functional (i.e. the tactical vest “Donda”) or hyper-fantastic: the enormous down jacket, the jacket with pimples. Both offer a form of protection and security; they are both hard and soft, literal and conceptual. As Kanye ascended to the sky from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, one could imagine the clothes themselves dematerializing and falling to the ground, as if to say, “Where we’re going, we don’t need function.
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