Kanye West's Runway Debut: Critics Weigh In

10/03/2011 at 12:00 PM ET

Kanye West ClothingCourtesy Karla Otto, Inc.

Kanye West showed his first-ever collection in Paris Saturday night, as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Lindsay Lohan and Anna Wintour watched eagerly from the front row. Set in the City of Light’s Lycée Henri IV, it was a runway show filled with leather, fur and lots of skin — and the critics weren’t so impressed.

Wall Street Journal style columnist Christina Binkley wrote that the show was at time “painful,” and recalled the Flinstones when referencing one particular breastplate. And though she “liked the perforated black leather” seen on several garments, she didn’t love the way it was used. “A vast quantity of luxury materials can’t blind people to a lack of creative marksmanship,” she wrote.

Eric Wilson from the New York Times agreed somewhat; he wrote, “it was obvious that most of the clothes suffered from a poor fit.” Women’s Wear Daily, on the other hand, was a bit kinder; it called the show “neither triumph nor train wreck” and said “it had the earnest veneer of a beginner, which was sort of endearing.”

West, who helped design a line of scarves for M/M in the spring, didn’t give interviews before his show began. But he did grab the mic during an after-party at Club Silencio, and begged critics to give him a chance.

“We don’t know what the reviews will be, we don’t know what they will say, but I got a chance to go to Italy and feel those fabrics,” he said. “And I took out motherf—ing loans to get the best models, to get the best designers, to get the best venue. I gave you everything that I had.”

He continued, “I thank anybody who came to this party, everybody who supported, everybody who believed, because people thought it was a joke, and maybe people still do, but I can only grow from this point.”

To view the full collection, visit style.com. Tell us: What do you think of West’s collection?

–Kate Hogan

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Showing 81 comments

LAURA on

He’ll never make it as a designer. He’s too rough and doesn’t have the people skills to be in that industry.

Tiffa on

I totally agree

bebo on

his clothes look like hooker chic or what he wishes his dates would wear. How many women want their chests hanging out?

Deltamama on

I am by no means a fashion expert but the blue shoes throw me off and the girl on the right looks like she has no neck which I’m sure isn’t the case. just my opinion

Jester on

Does the model on the right have a parachute attached to her? Not too crazy about the look…

BUBBY MAYO on

Cant stand him . Hes made a name for him self . Thats for sure. Would not even look at his stuff.
He is an ass , dont want my children to even listen to his music. And they really dont like him and there friends dont care for him either. There ages are 19 yrs to 15 yrs. They always say he is a big cry baby when he dosent get his way.Just because he is afriend of JZ dosent mean he can do and treat people like dirt.

Susan on

I disagree that he will not make it because he “is rough.” Some of the better designers are eccentric and “rough” (McQueen, Galliano, Betsy Johnson, Vivienne Westwood, to name a few). Yet, mainstream media and some fashion heavyweights love them (Kate Middleton, Sarah Jessica Parker in SATC and countless fashion editors). Not to mention, they sell well. Before you judge, show us that you can do better.

Elle on

I agree with Susan, it’s a first attempt. It’s not my taste, even if I could afford it. He could build a successful line Sean Combs

judy on

it annoys me to me see, actors and singer … calle themselves designers…..then you have the real designers who go to school to get the knowledge and education behind fashion. And they don’t get a chance!!!

Spanish Fly on

Im a fan of hip hop. I do not like Kanye as a person. As an artist he is “AHRITE”. Why does every hip hop star have to have a line? i do not get it. Not enough money in the units sold? just getting so old.

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