Fame and celebrity

Yeezy does it: Kanye West unveils new collection and album

West wowed the crowd at Madison Square Garden and drew 20 million online viewers for New York Fashion Week opener

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 February, 2016, 11:37am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 April, 2016, 12:55pm

More than 20 million viewers watched rapper and fashion designer Kanye West put his own twist on a runway show on Thursday as he debuted a new album and clothing collection at Madison Square Garden.

West, his wife Kim Kardashian and her family, including former NBA basketball player Lamar Odom, entered the Manhattan venue to cheers from the audience.

It is the first time Odom, the estranged husband of Khloe Kardashian, has been seen in public since he fell into a coma after using cocaine at a brothel last October.

The event went out online via subscription music streaming service Tidal, with 20 million viewers according to the platform. Tidal is co-owned by artists including West, Jay Z, Rihanna and Beyonce.

As West played new tracks from his upcoming album The Life of Pablo, dozens of models were revealed on raised platforms in the centre of the arena, wearing the new Yeezy Season 3 that West designed for Adidas. West has collaborated with Adidas in the past.

The collection, launched on the first day of New York fashion week, featured West’s usual neutral tones but included bright pops of pink, red and orange on leotards, tops, leggings and parkas.

West also announced an upcoming video game called Only Once, which he said was about his late mother Donda West’s journey to the gates of heaven.

One particular explicit lyric regarding Taylor Swift on new track Famous elicited a strong response from fans as West rapped that he had made the pop star famous, referring to the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards incident where West interrupted Swift’s acceptance speech.

Swift and West have since buried the hatchet, but fans speculated the new lyrics could incite a feud between the two music stars.

Also getting in on the action, former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli tweeted a letter addressed to West offering to buy The Life of Pablo for US$10 million so that it would be released solely to him, and kept from the public.

Shkreli is currently being sued over his Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon A Time in Shaolin, the sole copy of which he bought for US$2 million.

West has yet to respond to Shkreli.