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FASHION VALUE CHAIN

The rapper and designer’s daughter has given her approval to Ye’s newest sunglasses. “I put these glasses on Chicago last night, and she said, ‘These are my glasses now,’ and she didn’t want to take them off,” Ye says over the phone. It appears to him that she appreciates the YZY SHDZ. “She was able to throw the shades into the air, and they landed on the ground, and I wasn’t running around screaming, ‘You’re going to break the prototype!'”

The look has been making the rounds on social media, and has been seen on Kim Kardashian and North West. Demna, the similarly named designer at Balenciaga, assisted Ye in creating them. “Both Virgil [Abloh] and Demna worked on Yeezy season one, and now that Virgil has passed away, I wasn’t able to work with him when he was at Louis Vuitton, so I think it’s so important that me and Demna still get to work together,” he says. “You know how we present new ideas for our species as a group?”

The look has been making the rounds on social media, and has been seen on Kim Kardashian and North West. Demna, the similarly named designer at Balenciaga, assisted Ye in creating them. “Both Virgil [Abloh] and Demna worked on Yeezy season one, and now that Virgil has passed away, I wasn’t able to work with him when he was at Louis Vuitton, so I think it’s so important that me and Demna still get to work together,” he says. “You know how we present new ideas for our species as a group?”

“I can send them to any modelling agency now and only be hired for the top of my head,” Knight says. Knight and Ye have developed a friendship after working on numerous projects together, including the short film Jesus Is King, the music video “24,” and the YZY SPLY website. “Unlike almost every other person I’ve worked with, he is very concerned with seeing what he wants to see.” Not in a bad way; it’s very inspiring to work with someone who is so concerned about how the imagery should function,” Knight says. (Knight notes that they went back and forth to find the perfect shade of gray-blue for this image.) Ye had wanted to work with Swanepoel since first seeing her at a party 12 years ago, and Knight describes her as “one of those models who just wants a great image and will work to get it.” As Swanepoel puts it, “the vision for the shoot was so clear but also allowed for me to contribute my perspective on it.” Furthermore, it was thrilling to be a part of something that I knew would become instantly iconic.” 

The sunglasses can make anyone look like they’ve arrived from the year 3022, whether it’s Lil Uzi Vert or Lisa Rinna. However, Ye appears to have mixed feelings about the term “futuristic.” “Saying something is in the future removes the accountability of it needing to exist in our reality, as well as the fact that it’s 2022 and we don’t have the future we expected,” he says. “Somethings are more

futuristic, and a lot of things are less futuristic than we expected.” Clearly, I’ve been labelled as a futurist. I’ll put it this way, it’ll rhyme, it’ll be poetry: “Because we’ve been defined as futurists, we will define what the future is.”

“People are so quick to think it’s going to be so dystopian,” Ye says of the conversations he, Swanepoel, and Knight had on set about leaving a better world for future generations: “I feel it’s going to be James Turrell spaces and Nick Knight photos and foods from localised farms with no pesticides.”

While these images are primarily about sunglasses, the collaborators involved told me about a larger vision. Another photo shows Swanepoel with a large backpack standing in front of what appears to be a solar eclipse. They look like they’re from a science fiction movie. But there’s a twist in this film. “Having spent some of my life with him, I believe that is his fundamental desire: to make the world a better place,” Knight says of Ye. “He told me the other day that it should be like a dystopian film with a happy ending.” Why do those films always have a depressing ending? Why can’t there be one where everything works out and everything is better?”