By Luis Taganas
The first drop of the Kanye West and Adidas collaborative clothing line went live on Oct. 29.
After a year of anticipation, lookbooks and fashion shows, West has finally unveiled his true signature line for the public.
This is one of the rapper’s many forays into fashion. Being a walking advertisement for the labels he wears, he’s propelled brands to the forefront of mainstream fashion. Balenciaga, Givenchy and Maison Martin Margiela owe much of their current popularity to Kanye West’s endorsements. In his collaborative collection with French label A.P.C., West found groundwork for becoming a serious designer, and in his latest line, shows growth, having way more creative control over the clothing and its presentation.
After his blockbuster Air Yeezy line of sneakers with Nike, problems arose between West and the sportswear label, eventually leading to a parting of ways and the rapper’s partnership with rival brand, Adidas. Initially conceived as a shoe deal, the collaboration evolved into a whole ready-to-wear collection.
Nicknamed the “Future Slave Collection,” the lookbook and fashion shows introduced a very dystopian aesthetic. Tattered fabric and drapey designs dominate the collection. The garments are incredibly simplistic and the colors are dull, pastel tones. There seems to be an intentional lack of precision in the cuts and tears in the tops to accentuate this rugged image. The footwear is strikingly technical looking, which contrasts with the roughed-up garmentry.
The first drop pieces are basic, which makes sense, but none of the more “wow” pieces made it in. Most of the longsleeves seem to have a good length and fit and colors are great. The cropped long sleeve pullover stands out among the basic items, looking almost like bell bottoms but for your sleeves. The sarouel and terry lounge pants are comfy looking, and have a loose yet still fitted look. The pants go very well with the Yeezy 950 duckboot. The large profile and thick sole would be very hard to style with anything other than the lounge pants, unless you have Kanye’s build.
Another original design is the waffle cotton thermal tank top, featuring a neckline severed by a cut down the middle of the garment. The most disappointing pieces are the outerwear–very bland, military inspired designs with a somewhat drapier fit. The nylon bomber is incredibly standard in construction, but the nylon encompassing the entire piece is the only thing that makes it different.
The womenswear drop came afterward, featuring, again, very basic pieces, but a recurring theme of cropping. Almost all of the sweat tops are very short, ending right above the bellybutton. The women’s collection is meant to be sparse and slimming, contrasting the men’s pieces. The leggings are not opaque, meant to expose underwear, and the bras are the same as the men’s long sleeves in material and color. Women also have a variety of regular crewneck sweatshirts and pullover hoodies, but the sweat bottoms and outerwear are largely unisex with a few exceptions.
Overall the new brand has a decent starting collection. The pieces are synergized with each other which makes for some interesting looks, but brings into question how well these pieces will fit with other brands. The minimal designs make the individual garments look underwhelming by themselves but create cohesive outfits and aesthetics when worn together.
The weakest part of the collection is the outerwear. The drab, military designs just aren’t very interesting. The collection is not as derivative of other designers like his A.P.C. line, but some pieces such as the military vest reek of other designers.
The biggest point of criticism is the price point. At garments ranging from $200 to $3,000, Adidas really seems to be trying to emphasize how high end this collection is meant to be. Kanye West has made a point that he wants his clothes to be accessible, but it’s really hard to take the collection for what it’s worth because of the pricing.