Balenciaga’s partnership with Kanye West is officially over.
Kanye — now known as Ye — has a long history with the French fashion house, largely due to his close relationship with its creative director, Demna.
Demna and his brother, Guram Gvasalia, were enlisted to consult on Ye’s Yeezy Season 1 line back in 2015, and the two creatives have only grown closer in the years since.In 2021, Demna served as creative director for Ye’s three Donda listening parties, and by January of the following year, the pair had announced their ill-fated collaboration: Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga. Now, less than a month after he opened Balenciaga’s summer 2023 show at Paris Fashion Week, a parent company for the fashion house has announced it has officially cut ties with the rapper.
“Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist,” read the statement, which was provided to WWD on Friday.
Though the spokesperson did not elaborate any further, the end of the partnership comes after a string of controversial statements from Ye. Balenciaga appeared to publicly distance itself from the Yeezy founder earlier this month, after he was suspended from both Twitter and Instagram for making antisemitic comments. Days later, on Oct. 15, Ye made an appearance on the Drink Champs podcast, in which he claimed, among other things, that “the Jewish media blocked [him] out.” In this interview — which has since been deleted — he also falsely claimed that George Floyd wasn’t murdered, but was instead killed by the drug fentanyl. This claim has resulted in a lawsuit from Floyd’s family. According to Rolling Stone, on Oct. 17, Balenciaga issued a statement informing customers that Ye’s look from his runway debut at Paris Fashion Week had been removed from its website along with a section containing the Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga collaboration, which launched earlier this year.
On Sept. 15, shortly after Ye claimed that he had cut ties with Gap, the retailer confirmed that its 10-year partnership with Yeezy had come to an end. Less than a month later, on Oct. 6, Adidas issued a statement announcing that its multibillion-dollar partnership with the rapper is officially under review. This came just three days after Ye faced intense backlash for featuring a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt during his YZY SZN 9 runway show at Paris Fashion Week on Oct. 3.
The slogan is often used to counter the Black Lives Matter movement and has been associated with racism and white supremacism.