It appears Kering-owned Balenciaga has quietly cut ties with Ye (formerly known as Kanye West), news first reported by NSS. Rather than issue a public statement, the company has quietly quit the relationship by removing the brand’s association with Ye and Yeezy from websites it has control over.
For Balenciaga’s spring 2023 presentation, Vogue has removed the look Ye modeled and replaced it with a caption that reads, “This slideshow has been edited.” As well, the Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga product has been removed by Balenciaga’s site, along with Luisaviaroma and Farfetch.
The move follow’s Ye’s appearance on Revolt’s “Drink Champs” on which he spewed anti-Semitic remarks throughout the three-hour episode. The episode has since been removed and show host N.O.R.E. has apologized for publishing it.
Ye has long been a vocal supporter of Balenciaga designer Demna Gvasalia and no doubt created the connection that lead to Kim Kardashian being tapped as an ambassador for the label. Gvasalia as a rule doesn’t weigh in on Ye’s controversial statements, however, it’s known he admires him as a creative.
In a recent interview with the NY Times, Gvasalia described his exchanges with Ye as inspirational: “For me, talking with him is like going back in time to the eight-year-old me who doesn’t have all these barriers and filters. And those kinds of conversations help me to evolve as a designer.”
Update: On October 21st, 2021, Kering issued a statement to WWD stating,“Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist.”