The American rapper, 45, who has legally changed his name to Ye, opened the luxury fashion house’s SS23 on Sunday morning (2 October), dressed in a cumbersome, all-black outfit.
Layered up in a bulky security guard-style jacket, leather trousers and baseball cap, over which he pulled a hood, he lumbered his way down the mud-bespattered runway, complete with puddles and slush.
Explaining the inspiration for the set ahead of the show, Denma – Balenciaga’s creative director – said the mud was “a metaphor for digging for truth and being down to earth”.
In a statement accompanying the show, he also said that “individualism in fashion is downgraded to pseudo trends dictated by a post in stories of some celebrity of the moment… fashion in its best case scenario should not need a story to be sold to someone… let us let everyone be anyone.”
Bella Hadid also walked in Balenciaga’s show alongside models made-up to appear as if they had bruised and beaten faces. Others had papooses (baby carriers) strapped to their torsos, carrying Balenciaga dolls.
The show was a star-studded affair both on and off the catwalk, with the likes of Kylie Jenner, Christine Quinn, Doja Cat, and Alexa Demie watching on from the front row.
West was also spotted arriving at the show earlier today with his children North, Chicago, Psalm, and Saint West.
After his modelling debut, West shared a text exchange he had with US fashion designer Betsey Johnson to his Instagram story.
The message from Johnson reads: “I felt a little emotional when you walked. It felt really special.”