Kanye West Addresses NYFW Criticism at 'Harper's Bazaar' Icons Party in NYC

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Kanye West performs during The Saint Pablo Tour at Madison Square Garden on Sept. 5, 2016 in New York City. 

On Friday evening, Kanye West made his first public appearance since his hotly debated Yeezy 4 show at New York Fashion Week. The rapper took the stage at Harper’s Bazaar annual Icons party to fete the September issue by Carine Roitfeld, which features West and his wife Kim Kardashian on the cover.

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Moving freely about an orange-lit platform in an oversized T-shirt at New York’s Plaza Hotel, West treated a VIP-heavy crowd -- including Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Kris and Kylie Jenner, Pamela Anderson, Baz Luhrmann, Tommy Hilfiger and Tyga -- to live performances of “Famous” and “Runaway.” Twenty minutes in, he turned to the audience and began to speak about the criticism he, and particularly his efforts in fashion, have faced over the years.
 
“At the beginning of this performance I tried my best to not drop. No I tried to listen to all the reports and shit and I tried my best to stop trying. But I just couldn’t it do it, I couldn’t stop. No matter what they write, I just couldn’t stop. I appreciate ya’ll going on this journey for me. I appreciate all the years that ya’ll put up with me learning in front of you. And listen[ing] to the music at the same time. I appreciate the moment when Carine [Roitfeld] put her friend on the cover. No, not this moment, I’m talking about when she put Tom Ford on the cover [of Vogue Paris]. And all you motherf---ers were like, ‘Ah, oh, la la la, Carine.’ She’s a motherf---ing icon. There’s only one Carine.”

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West then dropped the mic and walked off stage, bringing his performance to an unexpected early end. His message, though rather vague, left one thing clear: Kanye West intends to stay in fashion, no matter what his critics say.
 
Designer Jeremy Scott said he was sympathetic to West’s situation on Wednesday. “My heart breaks,” he said, referring to widely circulated footage of a model who had wobbled torturously on a broken heel at West’s show until a guest escorted her off. “As a designer, I’d be so pained to know that was going on on the runway. It’s a no-win situation.”
 
He added, “But as they say, shit happens."