Welcome to our column, "Hey, Quick Question," where we investigate seemingly random happenings in the fashion industry. Enjoy!
Since his critically panned showing of Yeezy Season 4 at New York Fashion Week back in September, Kanye West has managed to stay more or less out of the spotlight — save for his continuous "Saint Pablo" tour performances and the problematic rants that accompany them. (Most recently, he let loose about his troubled relationship with Jay Z, and told a stadium full of fans in San Jose that he would have voted for Trump.) This sort of behavior is nothing out of the ordinary for West — he went on a similar tirade about the fashion industry at Carine Roitfeld and Harper's Bazaar's Icons party in September, promptly dropping the mic and stomping off stage. But when it comes to this particular artist, when it rains it pours, meaning we're getting his big, slightly confusing ideas thrown at us from all angles, including on his rarely used Instagram account.
On Sunday, West posted a whopping 99 images on Instagram, all of which appear to be captures from a late 1990s/early 2000s clothing book or catalog featuring the designs of Maison Martin Margiela. West hasn't been shy about his reverence for the label: Not only did he name drop it in the "N*ggas In Paris" lyrics, but he's also called it out in several fashion-centric interviews; his current industry inspiration Demna Gvasalia, creative director of Vetements and Balenciaga, trained at Margiela (and is often accused of borrowing too heavily from the signature Margiela aesthetic.) Sure, we'll take any opportunity to browse vintage photo shoots — but what does this all mean?
Eli Russsell Linnetz, the director of West's "Fade" video, took to Instagram to call the photo set an "installation." It includes a couple of iterations of the cult-favorite Margiela split-toe Tabi boots, as well as the oversize, sculptural proportions, conceptual layering and genderless sensibility that Margiela became famous for. But back to the question at hand: Why is West spamming our feeds with the blurry, niche fashion images? Is he going back to the drawing board for Yeezy Season 5, which may or may not go down at NYFW in February? Because West fans are a curious, restless bunch, they took to Reddit with their hypotheses. Some gems include: "They are all Margiela, potential Margiela collab or he's just having a meltdown;" "I think North has his phone and is just uploading his inspo album;" "He's off his Lexapro;" "This dude is using his IG to moodboard;" "You are watching his creative process unfold."
Whatever the case may be, we do know this: West is reportedly about to release three new styles of the Yeezy Boost 350 V2s, so all of this could simply be a subtle marketing ploy to get all of the hypebeasts and Margiela stans out there excited. And if there is one thing that West and his family are certifiably genius at, it's self-promotion. Do you have any theories regarding this sudden Instagram spree? Enlighten us in the comments below.