Rapper-turned-designer, Kanye West debuted his second unisex collection, “Yeezy II” at New York Fashion Week just days ago (see it here), and while some were pondering the highly considered arrangement of his models, Kim Kardashian’s recent tweets have launched a debate over whether or not the show speaks of racism.
The Kardashian’s series of tweets show Kanye’s models – the talent having picked people of all different shapes, sizes and ethnicities for his runway – grouped together in a picture montage, with the captions “Light,” “Medium” and “Dark,” which is the order the models walked the show in.
While it’s not clear that Kim is speaking of the models’ complexions or the clothes with her captions, the images, teamed with shots from the runway, have lead internet users to debate whether grouping models together this way is acceptable – or rather, whether it would have been deemed acceptable if a white designer had grouped models in the same way.
Some have speculated that arranging the models – those appearing in the image Kim shared with the caption ‘Dark’ – to the back of the lineup, with white models (those in Kim’s ‘Light’ image) to the front, would not be something a white designer would be able to do without being accused of racis, with one user commenting on an article about Kanye’s showcase;
“…Just [imagine]. If a W[hite] man did this and then put the light models in the front? This would be on every headline.”
Another added sarcastically;
“But he gets away with this blatant act because only white people are racist.”
Though polarising opinions on the showcase continue to gather online, Kanye himself said post-show, in an interview with Vogue contributing editor, Andre Leon Talley (see it here);
“…I like all people and I try to demonstrate that in my casting.”
Taking his own words into consideration, it seems if the grouping of his models had any racial significance, it may have been about a statement in favour of diversity or a ploy to bring the debate over diversity in fashion to the fore.
But while speculation continues, we will look out for any further word from Kanye West and the Kardashians on the subject of the “Yeezy II” showcase at New York Fashion Week, as well as your comments in the box below or online @SPICETVAFRICA.