Fashion and Style

Kanye West Faces Costly Fallout


Kanye West has defined most of his career with smash hits and a healthy dose of spectacle and theatrics, helping to redefine the modern concept of celebrity along the way. For a long time, those disruptions were largely welcomed in the music and fashion industries as he cut new creative paths.

But the rapper and designer, who now goes by Ye, has been at the center of several controversies in recent years after increasingly erratic behavior.

In the past 12 months, he’s been burning bridges in the music industry where he made his name. He was disinvited from performing at the Grammy Awards last spring, and abruptly withdrew from headlining this year’s Coachella festival.

In October, his behavior began to have an impact on the more lucrative corner of his empire — fashion — as he came under fire for marking a series of antisemitic remarks, including accusing Jews of a “Holocaust” against Black Americans, and wearing a shirt with a slogan associated with white supremacists.

Oct. 15

During an interview on the podcast “Drink Champs,” Ye falsely said George Floyd died from fentanyl use, not from a Minneapolis police officer’s kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes. He also repeatedly accused “Jewish media” and “Jewish Zionists” for feeding a paparazzi frenzy and canceling his shows.

Oct. 17

The parent company of Parler, a social media platform known for its right-wing audience, said Ye would acquire the site for an undisclosed sum of money. George Farmer, the chief executive of Parler’s parent company, Parlement Technologies, is married to Owens, the conservative commentator, who had appeared at Ye’s fashion week event.

Oct. 21-26

Kerring, Balenciaga’s parent company, told Women’s Wear Daily that “Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor plans for any future projects related to this artist.” Creative Artists Agency, one of the world’s major booking agencies, no longer represents the entertainer. The film and television studio MRC announced that it was shelving a completed documentary about Ye.

But the biggest and most anticipated breakup was between Ye and Adidas. On Oct. 25, after weeks of pressure, Adidas announced that it would cut ties with Ye after a nearly decade-long partnership, a move the sports apparel giant said would cost it 250 million euros ($246 million) this year. Forbes reported that the partnership accounted for $1.5 billion of Ye’s net worth and, without it, he would lose his billionaire status.


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