The West effect: How one rapper’s street style brand is changing the fashion industry

Kanye West is no stranger to the spotlight, and he is often on the receiving end of praise for his sense of style, which he passed on to his wife Kim Kardashian and daughter North West, 3, over the past several years. So, it was no surprise when the 39-year-old rapper released his first clothing line, known as Yeezy Season 1, in late 2015.

On February 15 West debuted Yeezy Season 5 during New York Fashion Week. The rapper-turned-designer showed 31 looks–both men’s and women’s–which were largely monochromatic and mix-and-matchable. Models included Playboi Carti, Luka Sabat and 19-year-old Somali-American Halima Aden, according to The FADER.

The mood inside Manhattan’s Pier 59 studios was intimate and fast-paced, lasting only 15 minutes, according to Highsnobiety. Thanks to a four-sided pillar that projected all 31 looks, there wasn’t a bad seat in the house despite the extremely dim lighting.

[source: Twitter user @DondaCreate]

Arguably his most famous–and most copied–collection is Yeezy Season 3, which features flesh-toned tattered sweats and t-shirts (both cropped and oversized) and sneakers, known as Yeezys, in collaboration with Adidas. On the heels of this collection came the s0-called “athleisure” trend that is still in full force today, as well as the rise of flesh-toned, skin tight leggings and bodysuits.

This season, however, West favored richer, darker hues like maroon, army green and charcoal. There were also four sky blue and turquoise-toned looks that featured flannels and high-rise jeans reminiscent of the 1990s grunge fad. Additionally, the Atlanta-born, Chicago-raised father of two showed several styles of baggy outerwear, including bombers, pullovers, weatherproof coats and two luxe, full-length furs.

Still, Yeezy maintained its signature sportswear vibe. Its fans are drawn to the relaxed and more comfortable style because it works better in today’s fast-paced world, making Yeezy an innovative and influential name in the fashion industry.

“Instead of a wistful nostalgia for the past, or a storied worship of hard-wearing goods, the clothes celebrate America as it is, not a bleary eyed look at ‘the way we were,'” according to Jilan DeLeon of Highsnobiety.

In other words Yeezy Season 5 features several notable Western-inspired silhouettes, while incorporating 21st Century wearability.

Though West himself did not make an appearance on the 15th, his wife Kim sat front row alongside Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour and even motioned for Wintour to join her backstage after the show, according to the Chicago Tribune, West’s hometown paper.

[source: Twitter user @DondaCreate]

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