Kendall Jenner, pack it in, because Kanye West is the new model in the family.
The rapper and fashion icon, who last year legally changed his name to Ye, made his Paris Fashion Week runway debut on Sunday with a runway that has already caught the attention of Internet.
West opened Balenciaga’s apocalypse-themed Summer 2023 show, which featured a mud-soaked runway surrounded by piles of mud, surprising everyone in attendance, including daughter North West who sat front row at the event alongside aunts Khloe Kardashian and Kylie Jenner.
Ditching his much-talked-about bedazzled flip-flops, the Yeezy designer was dressed in an oversized, military-inspired black jacket adorned with a ‘security’ patch and leather trousers. He wore a hoodie over a cap, which obscured part of his face — West’s preferred method of appearing in public lately.
The musician arrived at the show with his young children Saint West, 6; Chicago West, 4; and Psalm West, 3, according to Entertainment Tonight, while their mother Kim Kardashian was not in attendance.
The Grammy winner’s unexpected appearance on the catwalk naturally sparked a lot of conversation online.
The hip-hop legend has a long history with the Spanish fashion house, with whom he collaborated for a capsule collection under their now-defunct partnership with Gap. Kardashian has also made major inroads with the luxury brand, which recently featured her in a buzzy new campaign.
Earlier in the week, West appeared at the Givenchy show in the French capital wearing a Balenciaga mouth guard.
As for why the models were tasked with wading through high fashion mud, creative director Demna Gvasalia said the ensemble was a “metaphor for seeking truth and being down to earth.”
“I hate boxes and I hate labels. … Individualism in fashion is reduced to pseudo-trends dictated by a publication in stories of some celebrity of the moment,” he wrote in the show notes. “I have decided to stop explaining my collections and verbalize the my designs, but to express a state of mind.”
It’s unclear why Kardashian didn’t attend the event, as she’s made a habit of publicly supporting West since their split, while the former couple continues to share the details of their somewhat contentious divorce.
West was absent from the show he curated for Dolce & Gabbana titled “Ciao Kim” during Milan Fashion Week a few days ago, which was a KarJenner family affair.
The back-to-back fashion extravaganzas come after West publicly apologized to Kardashian for “any stress I may have caused” after previously attacking the reality star and her family on social media.
“This is the mother of my children, and I apologize for any stress I’ve caused, even in my frustration because God is calling me to be stronger,” she said during an appearance on “Good Morning America.” “But also, no one else is going to cause stress. I need this person to be less stressed and as healthy and calm as possible in order to raise these children.”
Check out the full Balenciaga Summer 23 collection below.