Balenciaga announces end of relationship with Kanye West

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French fashion house Balenciaga has announced it will be cutting ties with Kanye West.

The decision was revealed by Balenciaga’s parent company Kering, which said in a statement to WWD: “Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist.”

The move comes after West, who has recently found himself embroiled in controversy over a number of antisemtic remarks, opened Balenciaga’s summer 2023 show earlier this month.

During the Paris fashion show, which saw West make his modelling debut, the rapper walked down a mud-splattered runway in a security guard-style jacket, leather trousers and a baseball cap, over which he pulled a hood. West completed the look with a branded mouthguard.

As noted by WWD, the image of West has since been removed from Balenciaga’s website.

The move comes despite a lengthy relationship with West and Balenciaga artistic director Demna, who collaborated earlier this year for Ye’s Yeezy line with Gap.

Notably, the Yeezy founder announced he would be terminating his relationship with Gap last month, citing Gap’s alleged failure to meet obligations detailed in their agreement. Those obligations included distributing Yeezy products in its stores by the second half of 2021 and creating dedicated Yeezy Gap stores.

Balenciaga’s decision also comes amid an increasingly rocky relationship between West and his longtime partner Adidas. The athletic company, which has been the target of frequent criticism from West, revealed last month that it had placed its partnership with the rapper “under review”.

“After repeated efforts to privately resolve the situation, we have taken the decision to place the partnership under review. We will continue to co-manage the current product during this period,” the sneaker brand said.

In addition to backlash over his recent outburts of antisemitism, West also found himself facing widespread criticism from fans and peers in the fashion industry after he wore a “White Lives Matter” shirt during his surprise YZY SZN 9 presentation in Paris.

The Independent has contacted Balenciaga and a representative for West for comment.

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