Why is Kanye West’s Yeezy Gap collection causing confusion?

·2 min read
“Look man, I’m an innovator, and I’m not about to sit up here and apologize about my ideas,” Kanye said.  (AFP via Getty Images)
“Look man, I’m an innovator, and I’m not about to sit up here and apologize about my ideas,” Kanye said. (AFP via Getty Images)

Black bin bags have made the headlines again (perhaps, it’s the year of rubbish?). This time, in Kanye West related news. The American rapper has a new Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga collaboration that was first announced in January. To display the collection, clothes were placed in black bin bags rather than traditional hangers.

Known for being controversial when it comes to both music and fashion, the news is no surprise and Kanye clearly wanted shoppers to have a unique experience for this collection. But it’s left people confused, and even angry with some describing the event as “gentrifying thrifting”.

But, why has Kanye got everyone talking? Here’s everything you need to know about the black bin bag drama.

Why is Kanye West’s Yeezy Gap collection causing confusion?

One shopper posted a photo of the clothes thrown on top of black bags on the shop floor, writing: “This is how they are selling Yeezy GAP. The sales associate said Ye got mad when he saw they had it on hangers and this is how he wanted it. They won’t help you find ur size too, you just have to just dig through everything.”

One tweet referred to the event as “gentrifying a shopping experience”.

And another read: “Why are the rich obsessed with looking poor. They love to play pretend. Wonder if this is Kanye’s way of tricking people with money to act homeless. Like a performance art piece.”

One person suggested that Kanye should donate the money from the "homeless inspired" clothing to the people who really need it.

Others pointed out that it could be a marketing strategy to build excitement around the collection, and for Kanye’s name to be in the press again. This is a tale as old of time, often seen in the music industry where artists will create (or are pressured to create) marketing stunts, to make a label more money and increase publicity.

Whether this was Kanye’s aim is a mystery, though he did defend his creative freedom this afternoon.

What was Kanye West’s response to the controversy?

In a new interview, he was questioned by Fox News reporter Eric Shawn on the ‘sensitivity’ of using the bags in his latest drop as it could offend the homeless community.

“Look man, I’m an innovator, and I’m not about to sit up here and apologize about my ideas,” he responded.

“That’s exactly what the media tries to do: make us apologize for any idea that doesn’t fall under exactly the way they want us to think.”

But even though the items were sold out of bin bags, they definitely weren’t cheap. Yeezy Gap hoodies are ironically currently on sale for £260 in the UK. The cheapest items available to buy are a keychain (£50), a foldable cap (£50) and a tank top (£70).