Though this collection was starkly marked Season 4, Kanye West’s spring ’17 Yeezy show should have been called “Barefoot in the Park.”
Held on Roosevelt Island’s new Four Freedoms Park, the setting and intention was impressive and ambitious as always. Again, it was the type of spectacle that looks even more majestic on social media than in real life. Upon arrival, sticky editors and onlookers (we had been waiting for more than an hour in direct sunlight) were greeted by a Yeezy signature: a moody grid of models in form-fitting flesh tones. Their feet were — shocker — bare. Had West’s separation apparel brand from his shoe deal with Adidas meant no footwear to this season? Oh no, shoes were actually the talk of the show (more on that later). Of course, there were other boldface distractions, too.
West brought out the who’s who of celebrities in the music, sports and entertainment worlds. Jordan Brand-sponsored NBA star Russell Westbrook and Formula 1 race car driver Lewis Hamilton were spotted in attendance, as well as noteworthy rappers A$AP Ferg, 2Chainz, Desiigner and a pair of hip-hop icons who within the past year graced the cover of Footwear News: Fabolous and Pusha T. Also spotted: a sport icon with a signature shoe of his own in the form of Stan Smith.
West continued his luxury spins on workwear and athletic garb, with thoughtful variations on his shapewear-meets-oversize-coat theme. It’s a style that comes naturally to him and has quickly become pervasive amongst his loyal followers. Footwear, however, is a whole lot more painstaking than biker shorts and a baggy jacket worn draped off the shoulders. Extreme slouchy, over-the-knee boots — in clear acrylic and suede, as worn in the front row by Kendall, Kylie and Kim — lacked the fit and quality to withstand the sweltering temps. Many models quaked, a few slipped, Amina Blue removed her slippery kitten heels (plastic fabrications and soaring temps are a tricky combo), two struggled to walk and had to be helped down the runway (Bergdorf Goodman’s fashion director Bruce Pask lent a chivalrous hand), and one even tried to make it to the finish line with a broken stiletto heel, which was then pulled off of her by handlers as West looked on. A real shoe shame. Let the lesson here be that if a professional model cannot handle a heel, plebeians don’t stand a chance.
The most confident strides were the block-heel, fitted boots with cutouts at the back heel. By comparison, this racy stocking style look as easy as, well, a pair of Yeezys.
On the sneaker side, although the selections were sparse, models were spotted in various colorways of the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350, including tan and white. Perhaps wearing the most profound Adidas Yeezy Boost release was West himself, who was dressed in an all-black with red-accented Yeezy Boost 350 v2. No doubt there will be plenty of people clamouring for them come spring.