Since the beginning of January, Kim Kardashian Wests’ Instagram has been peppered with oversized coats and workout wear attire paired with heels, booties, and 90’s looking cross trainers. On the Tuesday after Beyoncé slayed Grammy Weekend with Black Panther inspired ensembles, Yeezy Season 6 “dropped”…on Instagram.
Kimye had a series of friends (including Paris Hilton, who arguably put Kim “on” to fame”, influencers, and Instagram models pose in the same locations and outfits as Kim Kardashian West. The line begins at $60.00 for a gray hat and goes up to $1800.00 for an overcoat. The sheeple of the Internet began touting this move as “innovative” and “groundbreaking.” In the age of Black Girl Magic, Black Boy Joy, and “rooting for everyone Black”…we sometimes become blind to calling a spade a spade: this was basic.
Vogue questioned, “Can Yeezy’s see-now-buy-now paparrazi proposition work for other fashion brands?” The see-now-buy-now model that people are marveling at has been in effect of the past few years, with Burberry being the first brand to do so. Direct to consumer was a result of consumer pushback to having to wait 6 months to own a garment after seeing it go down the runway. It’s hard to keep interest for that long. It’s also a response to the broken ways of the fashion industry and its resistance to change. This model also wasn’t practical nor affordable for new and upcoming designers that weren’t Parsons or FIT grads or backed by the CFDA. Direct to consumer is the modern day made to order.
NYFW designers, often showcasing American brands and considered the most affordable high-end luxury, in comparison to its London, Paris, and Milan counterparts, have been the first to really take to this model, one the old fashion regime does not embrace.
The result has been a sort of demotion to New York Fashion Week, no longer holding the same “cool” factor as before. In 1998 when Helmut Lange decided to show in NYC, it shot the city immediately up in fashion importance. Who shows where, matters. It’s indicative of where business is getting done. The demotion of NYFW has escalated with NYFW heavyweights slowly leaving the Big Apple. Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, Thom Browne, Alexander Wang and Altuzzara are all showing in Paris. Rather than going direct to consumer, these brands are getting goods out quicker by keeping the assortment fresher with more frequent collections (hello, Resort Wear and pre-Fall). Leaving NY for a more couture crowd, during an interview with Alina Cho at the MET, the duo behind Proenza Schouler stated they wanted more of a “challenge,” showing next to designers like Chanel. Tommy Hilfiger showed his Spring 2017 collection in Los Angles. Project Runway contestant (fan favorite) and now celebrity designer, Michael Costello, has been doing direct consumer since 2016 – so why is everyone in a fanfare over Yeezy Season 6 release?
Yeezy Season 6’s marketing strategy and release is right along the lines of Fashion Nova, except Fashion Nova doesn’t have a “release” and instead of Kim Kardashian, it’s Cardi B touting its affordable designs. Fashion Nova was also Googled more times than Dior in 2017. Seriously.
Yeezy Season 6 previewed pieces on Instagram, using the world’s most expensive Influencer currently on the market (whom so happens to be his wife), Kim Kardashian. It’s undeniably Kim’s influence and power. Celebrities, influencers, and thus, you’re everyday girl, have been moving towards these neutral colored oversized coats and shapewear style pieces. Fashion girls and Instagram Influencers flock to be noticed by the marketing genius.
Kanye’s longstanding, unrequited love affair with the fashion industry has infiltrated him and his clothing brand as an unignorable force. While he may not be invited to the exclusivity of fashion, the industry can’t deny the impact and authority of his style.
The line will do well. The Instagram model (pun intended) is proven. While I’m impressed by his tenacity and desire to make change (which he’s doing), in the fashion industry, this “release,” was not groundbreaking. Kanye simply turned Yeezy Season 6 into a high-end Instagram boutique.