Artist Kanye West, now formally known as Ye, has come under fire for selling his latest Yeezy GAP fashion collection out of bags, and citing homeless people as an “inspiration.”
On Instagram, West posted a black image with white text, which read: “Look to the children / Look to the homeless as the biggest inspiration for all design.” The post has since been deleted, but not before the comment section rallied against West, accusing him of fetishizing homeless people, and pointing out the bitter irony of a billionaire selling overpriced clothes out of what appeared to be garbage bags.
One comment read, “yes look to the homeless so we can sell middle class people $499 shoes.” Another commentator described the situation as “exploitation of the powerless,” while another wrote, “Instead of using the homeless as inspiration for design, you should be helping them get out of homelessness.”
On Twitter, photos of West’s clothing line sparked mockery, as Twitter users claimed that shoppers were having trouble finding their size, and were forced to dig through the bags to find what they wanted.
“This is how they are selling Yeezy GAP,” a New-York based Twitter user captioned a photo showing West’s clothing line shoved into a large black bags, sitting on the floor of a Gap store.
In response to the controversy, West appeared on Fox News to clarify that the “garbage” bags were actually construction bags, and explained that his goal was to make shopping easier and more egalitarian.
It’s unclear why construction bags stuffed to the brim with clothes are more “egalitarian” than coat hangers, but West described himself as an “innovator” and doubled down on his decision.
“I’m not here to sit up here and apologize about my ideas,” West said. “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.”
According to the network, West also stated that he believed it was “God’s plan” for him to appear on Fox News in response to the controversy (after all, He works in mysterious ways).
West’s newest publicity stunt was quickly compared to the 2001 movie Zoolander, which satirizes the excesses and insensitivity of the fashion industry with a homeless-inspired clothing line named “Derelicte,” featuring stained and tattered clothing.
Zoolander was actually parodying a real fashion line created by John Galliano in 2000, but clearly, the satire still holds strong. Although, a billionaire citing homeless people as “inspiration” during a time of skyrocketing economic inequality seems a tad on the nose.
During his appearance on Fox News, West described his latest clothing line in typically hyperbolic language, stating:
“It’s not a joke. This is not a game. This is not just some celebrity collaboration. This is my life. I’m fighting for a position to be able to change clothing and bring the best design to the people.”