NYFW: Adidas Originals x Kanye West

Kanye West returned to the catwalk during New York Fashion Week to debut his collaboration with Adidas Originals, Yeezy Season 1, and it seems his continuing quest for fashion domination and respect within the industry has been met with polarising opinions.

The highly anticipated collection, described by West as the world’s first “solutions-based” clothing line, has created a lot of buzz, mainly for the vacuum packed invite, the late start, the soundtrack, and most of all for the impressive front row, with his wife Kim Kardashian and baby North being joined by the likes of Beyonce, Rihanna, Diddy, Jay-Z and even Justin Bieber, but what about the clothes?

Well the presentation, which was in collaboration with contemporary artist Vanessa Beecroft, showcased 9 rows of models, men and women, wearing minimal neutral sportswear over nude bodysuits, which West says was his vision to "absolve consumers of dressing's daily stress by creating a line of high-quality essentials that can be freely combined in infinite ways."

The stripped-down clothing, from the distressed knits to the cargo vests, drop-waist pants and bomber jackets, didn’t make as much of an impact as the front row, the post-Apocalyptic vibe didn’t bring anything new to the sportswear market, and it was surprising that only a handful of pieces in the collection actually carried the iconic Adidas three-stripe.

Saying all that, this collection will probably be a sell-out when it hits stores, especially the grey suede ‘Yeezy Boost’ high tops, which are limited to only 9,000 pairs worldwide and retail for around 350 dollars. The sportswear giant launched an app to take pre-orders of the sneakers and the reservations were filled within minutes.

Kanye West debuts Adidas Originals collection at New York Fashion Week

Even with its selling power, the collection has been met with mixed reviews, with most focusing on the designer influences that can be seen throughout, most of which are West’s favourite designers including Helmut Lang, Raf Simons, Rick Owens and Haider Ackermann.

NYFW: Adidas Originals x Kanye West

American Vogue claims that West’s sportswear debut did live up to the hype and added that the clothing were as “memorable as the surrounding mayhem”, whereas Cathy Horyn for The Cut likened the general positive response to “Stockholm syndrome”, Bloomberg described the collection as “Flashdance meets American Horror Story”, and Racked.com even did a side-by-side look at West’s designs next to all the designers that seem to have influenced the line.

One thing that everyone can agree on from West’s New York Fashion Week debut has to be the diversity of his models, not only in skin colour but also size, with traditional waif-like models standing next to shorter models with curves, and the men were all different heights and muscle build.

“I don’t want the clothes to be the life,” said West on the collection. “I want the clothes to help the life.”

West adds: “I wanted something that felt like New York or Paris or Tokyo or Santa Barbara or Chicago—a worldliness and an ease.”

Images: Adidas Originals x Kanye West