Balenciaga is ending its relationship with Kanye West, the fashion house’s parent company says.
“Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist,” Kering told Women’s Wear Daily — a sister publication to Billboard — on Friday (Oct. 21) when asked by the trade publication about the rapper, who now goes by Ye.
The statement comes after West’s numerous antisemitic comments on social media and interviews, though Kering did not provide any details as to why it was cutting ties with him. Billboard has reached out to Kering and West’s reps for comment.
Bloomberg also tried the rapper, who responded to the publication via text message, saying: “God runs the world. We perform only for God. We serve only God. God bless.”
The French fashion house had featured Ye in its Summer 2023 show during Paris Fashion Week on Oct. 2. The rapper opened the event, walking down the runway through the mud in a head-to-toe black outfit featuring a hoodie, oversized security jacket, baggy moto pants, a baseball cap, as well as a mouth guard featuring the brand’s name.
It was Ye’s first time modeling for a major fashion house at Fashion Week. However, it appears that Balenciaga has since removed his appearance from the YouTube video of its Summer 2023 show, which previously showed the rapper being first down the muddy path. The runway show now kicks off with a shirtless male model in sunglasses and black pants.
Balenciaga had also recently collaborated with Ye on the YZY Gap Engineered by Balenciaga line. One of its recent collaborations was described as a “first of its kind creative exploration within the YZY Gap universe continuing YZY Gap’s commitment to bringing creativity to the forefront and delivering a vision of utilitarian design for all together with [Balenciaga creative director] Demna and iconic American brand, Gap.” Billboard has reached out to Yeezy Gap for comment.
Many have spoken out to condemn Ye’s hateful comments since he showed off “White Lives Matter” shirts at his own Paris Fashion Week show earlier this month, which he followed with the antisemitic comments on social media. He then doubled down on them during interviews after being suspended from Twitter and Instagram for posting hate speech.
“It’s just abhorrent,” actress Jamie Lee Curtis said on the TODAY show of his comments about Jewish people.
“Also a little reminder Kanye, using the word death and Jews in the same sentence when 6,000,000 Jews were murdered … is vile and abhorrent and irresponsible+ U shoukd be banned for life everywhere,” tweeted award-winning songwriter Diane Warren. “Let’s see if all these corporations doing business with anti Semitic f–ktard Kanye drop him.”