Attendance at Yeezy Season 3 on Thursday was a privilege reserved for a select few. Though widely anticipated, thrice-named and highly publicized, Kanye West’s album launch was an exclusive occasion which only Yeezy’s star-studded cast of models, extensive entourage, industry professionals, and loose-purse-stringed ticketholders attended. Coinciding with the opening of New York Fashion Week, Season 3 exploded onto the stage, Yeezy style: with a runway assembled in Madison Square Garden – sporting stadiums being his preference for self-indulgent spectacles, such as marriage proposals – the self-proclaimed Messiah of rap treated attendees to a festival of music, fashion, famous people and all things Yeezus.
The long-awaited launch of Yeezy’s seventh solo album – which, prior to its actual, globally-streamed execution in New York’s most famous stadium, was subjected to multiple title and track list changes – was far from the ordinary launch party. High Snobiety reported that Yeezy Season 3 was about as easy to get into as the Chamber of Secrets.
“There was… a finite time window where you had to check in with someone at the lobby, then make your way upstairs, where an escrow coordinated with the YEEZY illuminati to confirm the number of invites your team was supposed to have. For some people, this took a matter of minutes, for the less fortunate—hours,” said the reporter.
Season 3 introduced Kanye’s new album, Life of Pablo, but it was also the launch of the rapper’s third Yeezy collection for Adidas, an avant-garde line of “Athleisure” wear slapped with runway couture price tags, and the momentous occasion was spared no form of spectacle.
Yeezy’s family and in-laws occupied front-row seats at Yeezy Season 3, which was kicked off with their arrival into the stadium broadcast onto the big screen – wife Kim, daughter North and Kardashian/Jenners Incorporated filed into their chairs, and downtrodden former NBA player Lamar Odom accompanied wife Khloe in his first public appearance since almost dying from an overdose last year, said The Inquisitr.
Odom was not the only familiar face to attend or walk the runway, nor the most famous. Long-dormant musician Frank Ocean was spotted in the crowd, along with Vic Mensa, Travi$ Scott, Gigi Hadid, A$AP Rocky, and owner of streaming service used to broadcast Season 3, Jay-Z.
Yeezy was co-M.C.’d by Chance the Rapper, and the pool of models was punctuated with celebrities – RnB artist Young Thug, and runway royalty including legendary supermodels Naomi Campbell, Veronica Webb, Alek Wek, and Liya Kebede made appearances in the Season 3 show, reports New York Times.
Yeezy’s election to use primarily black models has earned praise for Season 3‘s applaudable diversity and re-imagining of the modern couture show, a sentiment which was reinforced by a moment in which models raised their fists in a referential gesture of black power.
Season 3 models were given a long list of strict rules for walking in Yeezy’s show, and their behavior was, consequently, considered peculiar to spectators. Models took to center stage either by parading onto a central platform by foot – the long way – or being lowered from the ceiling already atop a platform – the short way – only to stand there, utterly motionless, for what felt like an eternity.
Yeezy Season 3 has been credited with a high entertainment factor: the rapper’s trademark eccentric monologues never fail to start conversations. Yeezy floated the idea of being head designer of Hermes to Anna Wintour, touted his family, a multi-clan conglomerate of Hollywood celebrities, “the new Jacksons,” and instigated an anti-Nike chant in a pseudo-defamatory display of loyalty to Adidas.
The New Jacksons – always one foot in the spotlight, regardless of the Yeezy-centricity of any occasion – attracted scores of attention, dressed as they were in a varietal collection of dresses and luxuriant furs from a Yeezy x Balmain collaboration.
If fans weren’t excited enough by the unrivalled spectacle of Yeezy Season 3, Kanye informed attendees – from whom he has fielded disenchanted criticism for his delayed album release and exorbitant cost of the Yeezy Collection – that he and Adidas would be upping production and lowering prices this season. Yeezy’s life’s mission is, after all, concerned with bringing beauty to the world: all there is to do now is wait.
[Image by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images]