Kanye West's history with Fashion Week is turbulent at best — and the rapper will be the first one to admit it, as proven in his many rants on the topic over the last couple of years. West's number one grievance is that the powers that be in the industry refuse to take him and his design work seriously due to the fact that he's a celebrity (Anna Wintour famously told Eric Wilson at the Times to "ask someone else" when he inquired about her thoughts on West's ready-to-wear debut in Paris in 2011), but he's hoping to turn his reputation around with his upcoming Adidas collaboration, which is set to hit stores in the coming weeks.
West has repeatedly stated that Adidas has put trust in his talents and has given him the creative freedom he needs to truly shine — take that, Nike — which is why we were pretty excited when rumors started spreading around the Internet that he would be unveiling his collection for the sportswear brand with a presentation at New York Fashion Week. According to Complex, invitations to the event (which will reportedly take place on Feb. 12) have already been sent out, and the site referenced a (now-removed) Instagram screenshot of an e-mail sent to menswear buyer Ramon Ehlen as proof. Reps for Adidas did not respond to our requests for comment.
If this presentation goes down, it will likely be very different from West's first Fashion Week outings in Paris for spring and fall 2012, which were more about grandeur than the clothing: The front row was filled with the likes of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Lindsey Lohan, Sky Ferreira and Riccardo Tisci, and the casting was comparable to the best labels in the business, with Karlie Kloss, Jourdan Dunn, Anja Rubik and Chanel Iman all walking the runway. Despite all that star power, the clothes were embarrassingly bad, and we're betting that West has learned his lesson. (Especially if you take into account that he held an intimate showroom presentation to introduce his collaboration with A.P.C. in Paris last year.)
A New York Fashion Week presentation done the right way — at a modest venue, with the appropriate editors and buyers in attendance instead of a laundry list of celebrity pals — could really get West back on track with his design career, which seems to be his number one goal for this Adidas partnership. Despite his rocky start as a fashion designer, we're rooting for him, and we're hoping that this season marks the turning point he's been working for. Whether the collection gets a full-out event or not, we'll be watching, Mr. West.