For someone like Kanye West, a mere change in coffee order is enough to ignite a flurry of headlines in the media. As pop culture's unconquered don of influence, everything Ye does is subject to fierce scrutiny, speculation and buzz – and best believe that he damn well makes sure of it.
It's no news that the last few months have been pretty contentious for the, let's call it "outspoken", rapper-cum-designer (more so than usual at least). Onstage tirades, mental breakdowns, a Donald Trump rendezvous and neon pink hair dye jobs aside, Kanye's most recent tabloid tagger is the alleged proclamation of him pushing forward with YEEZY Season 5.
Now you may recall the most recent season of West's adidas-collaborated imprint. No, we aren't rehashing the not-so-memorable clothing it featured, but rather the complete mess of a presentation that unraveled at New York Fashion Week SS17. The spectacle, which was met with fainting models, an inconvenient location and a ridiculously tardy start time, was critically panned by nearly every industry vet in attendance, with many calling for a boycott on all things YEEZY-related.
But critics have never halted Kanye from doing his thing, so the fact that he's back in the studio whipping up another collection for NYFW FW17 (which is only a month away) should come as no surprise. But the question now, as with every impending YEEZY range, is what sartorial vibes Ye will be tapping this season?
Kanye, well-aware of his vast social media leverage, has been known to wear not-yet-released pieces out in public view, knowing the amount of hype it will generate once it's been photographed. The same goes for his way of dress; if Kanye is shifting gears with his fits, chances are he's giving an overt hint at what he'll be channeling in future collections or drops.
While Kanye's been pretty tight-lipped about the whole operation so far, there are but a few hints we've been given to predict what can be expected from YEEZY Season 5.
It's going be sportier than previous seasons
Kanye's been veering a lot more on the #athleisure side of the steez spectrum lately (hoodies, track pants, athletic shorts, T-shirts), especially upon revelation of the first-ever YEEZY Runner sneaker, which he was spotted wearing just a few days ago.
It's a more comfortable take on the practical surplus and thrift-inspired workwear and army gear he previously wore a lot, and characterized YEEZY Season 1-3. It's also a lot cheaper to make than say, distressed sweaters.
As an artist who once said he wants to be "bigger than Walmart," maybe that means we'll see another drop in price points. Season 3 was considerably cheaper than Season 1, and is even more accessible now that select pieces have gone on sale.
Another pop-up in the works?
Wearable tchotchkes have been integral to West's fashion shows since YEEZY Season 1, where invites were doled out in the form of Tyvek anoraks. Season 2 bestowed invitees with long-sleeve camo shirts, and Season 3 not only gave select attendees green coaches jackets, but saw the debut of his Pablo merch line.
That led to a whole slew of pop-up stores, including a staggering 21 global pop-up shops that caused lines around the block. For Season 4, the infamous Calabasas trackpants that were meant to be invites never went out, instead being given to buyers during market appointments for Season 4, and a few very lucky people. Instead, Season 4 invite shirts were printed and sold at the venue for $75 a pop.
Selling clothes at a fashion show seems like a quirky concept, but as the artist who helped usher in a newfound obsession with music merch, we wouldn't be surprised if a similar stunt gets pulled during NYFW.
The "Calabasas" gear should get its own line
Something of a holy grail for the most devoted YEEZY Stans, the Calabasas trackpants are a highly-coveted item in the streets. Now that West and adidas' partnership has been galvanized by the promise of more clothes, shoes, and stores, it would make sense if it got its own collection. Late last year we even got a glimpse at what appears to be a sample of Calabasas-branded adidas Powerphase sneakers, further fueling speculation that it may evolve to a full label.
This would be a natural evolution of Kanye West's fashion lines—something aspirational for the fashion heads with the YEEZY collection, and something a bit more mainstream with an adidas-branded Calabasas offering. People still foam at the mouth for the "Pablo" merch, so why not up the ante with a full-on diffusion lifestyle collection?
Expect the unexpected
A lot of YS5 is still shrouded in mystery, but as we've seen with nearly every YEEZY iteration thus far, this season will surely leave jaws flapping and keyboards tapping. There's still no word as to whether Ye will be calling on the likes of longtime collaborator Vanessa Beecroft to assist with the presentation or where it will be located.
But when is anything ever fully known about what Kanye does until the very last minute? And sometimes even then things are still subject to change.
Stay tuned on Highsnobiety for more news on YEEZY Season 5 as it comes in.
Be sure to follow Fashion Week FW17 for all of this season's current happenings.