Meta Description: Kanye West’s visual style appears to evolve and move into a new era following every one of his albums. Read more here.

Kanye West’s visual style appears to evolve and move into a new era following every one of his albums. From College Dropout, which consisted of a year of preppy pink polos to the neo-futurism of Graduation (which momentarily made shutter shades a global phenomenon), to independently turbo-charging the sales of Riccardo Tisci’s Givenchy with Watch the Throne. Every one of these releases has seen Kanye change both his aesthetic and the visual cues of an entire generation of fans.  

Disruptive as Kanye might be, there’s no denying that he has influenced fashion trends unlike anybody else in the music industry today. Kanye’s fashion trends always filter down into the mass market somehow, regardless of how ridiculous or too out-of-the-box. Either way, we’re always eager to see what fashion trends he comes up with next so that you and many others can follow a trend you are interested in

Most recently, we have witnessed the YEEZUS era, characterized by a utilitarian look (keeping the style of his YEEZY image). Desaturated khaki, camel, and gray tones matched with combat boot-like YEEZY 950s on foot, which before long turned towards a more retro-tech sneaker. For example, the 500 and 700 matched with what can only be described as workwear-inspired pieces in a more extensive range of tones.  

Kanye West Returns to Instagram With a Fit Pic | Vanity Fair

Source: VanityFair

Kanye West And The Gap Collaboration 

Mickey Drexler, the previous CEO of Gap, has revealed that the clothing giant shouldn’t have teamed up with Kanye West, claiming that he is not cooperative or easy to work with. The Yeezy/Gap partnership, set to last for ten years, was announced in June and has since delivered three puffer jackets. As of late, a red one was also produced, a version of which was worn by Kanye at the pre-release listening party for his upcoming album, Donda.  

Drexler has revealed that the release of the principal blue puffer jacket brought in a revenue of $7m (£5m) overnight. At the same time, shares in Gap increased by 42 percent following the news of the partnership being announced. Also, the black Yeezy Gap jacket is being resold on websites, like Stock X, for roughly £500.  

Kanye Makes A Fashion Statement At DONDA Listening Party 

As Kanye enters a new era (sponsored by the deferred release of DONDA), everything he’s been working on these past few weeks feels like it’s moved into a broodier, darker, more dystopian phase.  

It reached its apex at last week’s DONDA pre-release listening party. Kanye rocked up decked in the likes of  Balenciaga as well as Bottega Veneta (with creative direction from the previous leader, Demna Gvasalia, who dressed Kanye in Balenciaga’s porcupine-spiked jacket). It’s an intriguing transition, transforming from the low-key and under-the-radar looks and his famously minimal-chic home with Kim Kardashian into a more blustering, if somberly dystopian, approach to not only dressing but also living. ​​Kim Kardashian, Kanye’s ex-wife, was also present at Kanye West’s album listening party with a controversial all-black outfit. 

Kanye West 'living at Atlanta stadium' to finish new album Donda | Ents &  Arts News | Sky News

Source: Sky News

Kim Kardashian And Matching Kanye’s Energy 

Kanye West’s ex-wife and reality TV star, Kim Kardashian, was also in attendance at the rapper’s most recent live event. Kim wore skin-tight black pants, a black long-sleeved top, and a face mask with zippable parts for the mouth and the eyes.  

According to a close-up photograph that Kim Kardashian tweeted of her matching face mask and gloves, her outfit was also designed by Balenciaga, a Spanish luxury fashion house. 

How Have Kanye’s Trends Impacted Menswear? 

Kanye’s latest fashion trend is a shift that is reflected in the more extensive menswear circle, as well. For Autumn and Winter 2021, Rick Owens released a dystopian collection as Kanye’s new visual identity. Set against smoke and brick walls, models were dressed in heavily padded garments, full-face covers,  pleaser-esque boots, and shades that would fit right into the costume design of a movie like the Matrix.  

In addition, Matthew M Williams’ Givenchy and Daniel Lee’s Bottega are partnered in a predominantly black, sub culture-inspired, leather-heavy aesthetic. Plus, keeping in mind that the sub-label of Gvasalia’s previous brand, VTMNTS, explored different colors for its debut SS22 collection, the whole collection was defined by an angstier mood. A harder-edged, more synthetic look has also characterized the sparse contributions from Kanye’s collections for Gap.  

It’s a shift that was encouraged by Balenciaga. The brand’s Fall 2020 show, which occurred pre-pandemic (and produces Kanye’s spiked jacket), reflected environmental apocalypse and highlighted an almost all-black menswear offering in rubber, leather, and faux fur. It’s definitely a mood carried right through to the brand’s Afterworld video game, which also had a similar dark approach.  

What Does This All Mean? 

We expect Bottega Veneta’s often-imitated, big-soled boots to live rent-free on every designer’s mood board for some time. Leather pants, a long-term staple for Kanye, look set to become even more mainstream (look at Frank Ocean’s Financial Times cover for proof), and less notable brands from The Row to noir Kei Ninomiya are also set to encounter a boom.  

As for Kanye West, his DONDA-era aesthetic leaves a lot of room for speculation. It’s iconoclastic and mischievously Hellraiser, but also a glaring difference to the clear homegrown focal point of the actual album. However, we are already aware the album will have more religious themes, a mood-driven home by the recordings of Kanye rising into the haziness of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. So is this Kanye’s end-of-days era? Perhaps the rapper knows something that we don’t.