Kanye West covers Balenciaga logo on his $1,000 rain boots with ‘YE24’ sticker

West’s ex-wife Kim Kardashian said this week that she’s ‘re-evaluating’ her relationship with brand

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Tuesday 29 November 2022 18:08 GMT
Related: Balenciaga under fire over ‘creepy’ ads of kids with ‘bondage outfits’

As celebrities and notable figures continue to denounce Balenciaga in light of its recent campaigns featuring children, Kanye West has seemingly made a statement against the brand by covering up the designer logo on his rain boots.

On Sunday, the rapper was photographed in Los Angeles, California, in an American flag-emblazoned jacket, a baseball cap, black jeans, and a pair of $1,100 Balenciaga rain boots.

However, in paparazzi photos published by the DailyMail, the Balenciaga logo on the side of West’s rubber boots appeared to be covered with a sticker that read: “YE24.”

The sticker seemed to be a reference to West’s recent announcement that he plans to run for US president in 2024. The Yeezy designer previously launched an unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 2020.

West’s latest statement against Balenciaga, which is facing backlash over recent campaigns involving children holding teddy bear bags dressed in BDSM-inspired accessories and court documents pertaining to a Supreme Court decision on child pornography, comes after the rapper previously condemned the brand.

The 45-year-old, whose own relationship with Balenciaga ended in October 2022, addressed the controversial campaigns while speaking to paparazzi outside a Messianic Jewish church on Sunday.

“They tried to destroy my business at the same time, and the world saw it, and no one is saying anything,” West said. “It shows you all celebrities are controlled. You don’t see no celebrities talking about the Balenciaga situation.”

West’s comments came as his ex-wife Kim Kardashian, who has a long working relationship with Balenciaga, also publicly condemned the brand.

In a statement shared to social media, Kardashian, who shares four children with West, said she was “re-evaluating” her relationship with Balenciaga moving forward based on the brand’s “willingness to accept accountability for something that should have never happened to begin with”.

“I have been quiet for the past few days, not because I haven’t been disgusted and outraged by the recent Balenciaga campaigns, but because I wanted an opportunity to speak to their team to understand for myself how this could have happened,” Kardashian tweeted. “As a mother of four, I have been shaken by the disturbing images. The safety of children must be held with the highest regard and any attempts to normalise child abuse of any kind should have no place in our society - period. I appreciate Balenciaga’s removal of the campaigns and apology. In speaking with them, I believe they understand the seriousness of the issue and will take the necessary measures for this to never happen again.”

Outside of Kardashian, other celebrities have also chosen to speak out against the brand’s recent campaigns. Bella Hadid also subtly condemned the luxury fashion designer when she appeared to delete photos of herself posing in a Balenciaga campaign from Instagram.

West’s ex-girlfriend Julia Fox has also addressed the controversy on TikTok, calling the campaigns “horrific”. The model also used her platform to seemingly defend Kardashian from criticism over her response to the scandal.

“First things first, I’m not their spokesperson, I have zero relationship with the brand, I haven’t even been to one of their shows – they haven’t invited me,” she began the video. “Regardless, I think it’s horrific and when I was reading and watching all the videos I literally felt sick to my stomach. But I couldn’t help but think, damn, the women who are associated to the brand professionally are getting so much pushback, it’s almost as if they’re the f***ing child molesters.”

Although many notable individuals have spoken out against Balenciaga, others, such as Nicole Kidman, who recently starred in a Balenciaga campaign, have yet to address the controversy. The actor’s lack of response has sparked backlash among her fans, who have called on her to denounce the brand.

Balenciaga announced in October that it would be cutting ties with West when the brand’s parent company Kering said in a statement to WWD: “Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist.”

The brand’s decision to distance itself from West amid controversy over his antisemitic remarks came after the rapper opened Balenciaga’s Summer 2023 show earlier that month. The move arose despite a lengthy relationship between West and Balenciaga artistic director Demna, who collaborated earlier this year on Ye’s Yeezy line with Gap.

West’s supposed boycott of the brand comes in tandem with the hashtag #CancelBalenciaga continuing to gain popularity on social media.

Balenciaga has responded to the controversy, saying in a statement on Monday that they “strongly” condemn child abuse. In an earlier statement, Balenciaga apologised for the campaigns and said it planned to take legal action. The company has since filed a lawsuit against production company, North Six Inc, and its agent, Nicholas Des Jardins, for $25m.

The Independent has contacted Balenciaga and a representative for West for comment.

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