Kanye West made his runway debut during Paris fashion week by opening Balenciaga’s spring/summer 2023 show last weekend. The runway, which was staged outdoors at Parc des Expositions, looked like it was covered in mud.
The 45-year-old Yeezy founder wore an all-black, combat-ready attire complete with heavy-duty utility vest and a baseball cap with the word “Security” in them. His four kids, whom he shares with Kim Kardashian, were present in the event. North, 9, Saint, 6, Chicago, 4, and Psalm, 3 cheered him on together with Kylie Jenner. Other celebrities who were present during the show were Doja Cat and “Euphoria” actress Alexa Demie.
Demna Gvasalia, creative director of Balenciaga, prefaced the collection which is based on the idea of personal identity as a “battlefield.” He said, “One needs to have courage and persistence to truly assume their identity and who they really are. And the more you try to be yourself the more you get punched in your face … The challenge is to get up and keep walking towards your true self after you have been beaten up and knocked down.”
As for the “muddy” backdrop, it was conceptualized by artist Santiago Sierra who is famous for interrogating social inequality in his projects. One of his famous controversial projects was the “160 cm Line Tattooed on 4 People” in 2000.
For the show’s set, Gvasalia explained that it’s “a metaphor for digging for truth and being down earth.”
Many reacted to the Donda artists’ runway debut including designer Betsey Johnson. The rapper took to his Instagram Stories to share a screenshot of a text message he got from the famous fashion designer.
She wrote, “I felt a little bit emotional when you walked. It felt really special.”
West replied, “After all the battles Even this year Pretty amazing I’m emotional too.”
He continued, “We have more battles ahead of us. But we’re going to win God is on our side.”
Meanwhile, Ye wasn’t the only one who went viral during the show. Bella Hadid wowed the crowd as she walked with nothing but a pair of underwear and heels. The supermodel then had a dress spray-painted in real-time in front of everybody. Thick white latex was sprayed around her torso until a solid dress with a thigh-high slit and off-shoulder sleeves was formed.