Kanye West has given a series of interesting interviews over the past few months. In particular, the interview with Zane Lowe of BBC Radio 1 gave a very thorough and revealing look into the mind of the musician and his ongoing frustration with the fashion world. For example, West explains his work with Nike on the Air Yeezy and argues that anybody else would’ve already received his/her own collection with such a successful product. He goes on to talk about his influence on Fendi, Givenchy, Balmain and other brands, alongside his collaborations with Louis Vuitton and Zanotti. As manic as he appeared at times, many could understand his frustration as he passionately detailed his tremendous interest and ambition in fashion, while explaining how much impact he’s already had in this market.
This week, Kanye West and his creative team DONDA announced the new G.O.O.D. Music merchandising collection and online store. We are so disappointed by what we’ve seen. It goes against everything West was pushing for in his interviews and looks like any other cheaply made merchandising collection with your standard range of T-shirts, caps, sweatpants and coach jackets, each coming with one of two logos slapped onto them. Is this how DONDA shows how creative they are? Is this how Kanye West makes his point in the fashion world? Something seems off here.
Of course, we do understand that unlike the Yeezy or the A.P.C. KANYE capsule collection, the G.O.O.D. Music merch has not actually been designed by West. Nevertheless, we do expect more from his team of creatives than a simple logo-driven line of basics, sold through an equally unimpressive online presence. We appreciated the aesthetics of Kanye’s work with Wes Lang, one of our favorite artists at the moment, on his Yeezus tour merchandising. This is the type of product we expect from them. However, the merchandise being sold in part at PacSun stores raises big question marks on our end and doesn’t make much sense. The pop-up shop is a far better venue for selling merchandise since it provides a proper context for the product being sold and allows for more control over presentation and curation.
If this was any other music artist we wouldn’t care, but since Kanye West and his DONDA team want to play such a big role in the fashion world – and be accepted and taken seriously – they need to do better than this collection . What do you think?