Kanye West has dropped the second visual off his The Life of Pablo album, the single “Wolves,” made in collaboration with designer Olivier Rousteing and Balmain as part the label’s fall ad campaign. Fashion lovers will note that some of the footage is pulled from this year’s Met Gala, which West attended wearing blue contacts, a Balmain jacket and Fear of God distressed denim jeans.
Directed by Steven Klein, the video is dark and artsy and very much has that performance art feel that has been inspiring West a lot as of late. Look for appearances by G.O.O.D. Music-signed rapper Vic Mensa, singer/songwriter Sia, Cindy Crawford Kylie Jenner and of course, wifey, Ms.Kim Kardashian West.
As artsy as the video is, what’s newsworthy is that it was openly made in collaboration with a fashion company. Sponsorship of concerts, product placement within music videos and musicians featured in print and video ads have become common place forms of marketing for many companies, but this level of in-your-face collaboration between a musician and a corporate entity on an artist’s music video takes the game to a new height.
Commenting on the partnership, Rousteing neatly summed up in an interview with Vogue why music has grown a way to market fashion as opposed to traditional fashion magazines, explaining, “Business-wise, the music system is so strong and sometimes, for me, it’s even more modern than the fashion system,” adding, “With music, you talk to an entire generation, where sometimes with fashion, you don’t talk to an entire generation because not everybody gets magazines.”
Perhaps as much of a move away from using fashion magazines to market one’s label, the video also reflects a shift in power whereby musicians have become aware of their enormous power to influence and are demanding to be fairly compensated for it, a set up that’s long been in place among the world’s top-tier athletes, all of whom are represented by agents whose main role boils down to making them as much money as possible. As such like a lot of things West does, while he may be the first to make such a video, it’s a good bet there are more to follow.
Check out the new visuals below: