Kanye West can now add “runway model” to his resume, thanks to Balenciaga. The multi-hyphenate made waves this morning as it was revealed he opened the French brand’s Spring 2023 show during Paris Fashion Week.
Held inside a mud-filled arena in Villepinte, France, the Yeezy founder opened the show in an all-black utilitarian outfit. His ensemble featured black leather trousers with motocross knee quilting, as well as a large black T-shirt, hoodie and a baseball cap proclaiming “2023.” Layered over these were rubber-paneled gloves and a large canvas jacket covered in numerous pockets, offset with a “Security” patch. When it came to shoes, West appeared to be wearing a set of chunky black sneakers with mesh and rubber paneled uppers that included exaggerated rounded soles, similarly to past athletic styles Demna has released at the house. The casual nature of West’s ensemble, coupled with its outdoor-ready nature, fit strongly into the trending “gorpcore” aesthetic that highlights functional and nature-inspired clothing — particularly those favored by campers and hikers.
West’s appearance on Balenciaga’s runway marks the latest viral runway moment — and, indeed, celebrity cameo — during the Spring 2023 fashion season, including Paris Hilton’s bridal walk for Versace and Cher closing Balmain’s music festival-esque show. The occasion also followed Balenciaga’s own star-studded lineup in its groundbreaking 51st couture show earlier this summer, where models included Dua Lipa, Nicole Kidman, Christine Quinn and West’s ex-wife Kim Kardashian.
Beforehand, West entered the venue with his children Psalm, Saint and Chicago in tow, dressed in head-to-toe black. West’s ensemble of choice followed a similar gorpcore vein, featuring black jeans, an oversized T-shirt and hoodie paired with a frayed baseball cap. A set of Balenciaga’s black knee-high rubber boots, made in collaboration with Crocs, finished his outfit with a similarly practical and outdoor-ready twist.
Paris Fashion Week takes place from Sept. 26-Oct. 4, providing the finale to the Spring 2023 fashion season after New York, London and Milan. The 10-day-long event features runway shows and presentations from numerous luxury brands, including Dior, Valentino, Givenchy, Schiaparelli, Louis Vuitton and Chanel. The occasion also serves as a platform for independent brands as well, including Calvin Luo, Vaquera, Undercover and Koche. The event will notably host the first Issey Miyake fashion show since the late designer’s passing in August.