Kanye West’s rep recently announced that the rapper won’t be returning to Paris Fashion Week.
The move represents West throwing in the towel on a dream he had for years: gaining respect from the fashion industry.
Click here to see the worst things the critics had to say about him >
Like his girlfriend Kim Kardashian, West faced an uphill battle. The industry is full of snobs who don’t like celebrities using their status to get ahead.
But Kardashian wisely appealed to the mainstream audience that already admired her and pandered to the press in a series of interviews. Other celebrities, like the Olsen twins and Katie Holmes, worked their way up to high fashion by starting with more commercial lines.
Meanwhile, West went straight to ready-to-wear high fashion and refused to give interviews.
The combination of his hubris and hastily assembled collection resulted in critics absolutely eviscerating West’s debut collection at Paris Fashion Week in 2011.
Critics from The New York Times to Women’s Wear Daily ripped West’s fashions at his debut show. When he followed up with a second collection a few months later, the best reviews were lukewarm.
“Kanye West’s fashion debut was like being subjected to an hour long MRI scan — but not as much fun,” the Telegraph griped.
After alienating the press and hitting the wrong market, it’s not likely that West will ever be taken seriously in high fashion. His best bet is to pay his dues, get experience and work his way up in a commercial line.
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