Fashion loves a ‘moment’, but in an endless news cycle, how do you cut the noise? Enter Ye and his masterful manipulation of pop culture and how we consume it
The glitch simulation. Just a week after 2022, our latest system error manifested itself in the form of a seemingly confirmed romance between Kanye West and Uncut Gems actress Julia Fox, announced via a full-fledged fashion shoot published by Interview. Obviously. Featured with sparse comments beyond a few emojis and the promise to “spill the tea” on the magazine’s social platforms, the move appeared to be a direct response to growing speculation regarding the rapper’s love life after KimYe, again stung a few. days only. before Pap’s photos first bring together this unlikely pairing. Within seconds, those footage and Fox’s accompanying diary of his first dates with Ye flooded the newsfeed, with anecdotal details reported and reposted verbatim. Although amused, my level of near-radioactive daily exposure to Internet perception manipulation made me fear taking FoxYe (not, I’m trying something) at face value with their statement that “Everything with us has been so organic. Not even 24 hours later, news of Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga’s arrival broke and it became clear that ‘Date Night’ was part of a larger plan to create a marketing campaign around it, a modern fashion moment.
Of course, this isn’t West’s first rodeo when it comes to playing tabloid interests to promote their own interests. While the paparazzi were only the appetizer of the main course of “Date Night”, 2017 saw the rapper turned designer drop season 6 of YEEZY through staged shots of the wife and muse of the time. , Kim Kardashian, using her position as one of the most followed. women around the world as free advertising space. Since then, the distinction between real and not has only become further destabilized; the layers of fireworks in “Date Night” reflect this “new normal”. In 2022, the urge to “normalize” things spread to the ubiquity of fake news and conspiracy as content, while the coronavirus had the added side effect of finally raising the curtain on the cult of celebrity as they asked us to “imagine” a world different from their lavish homes when most of us faced the stresses of a global pandemic without the privilege accorded to the rich and famous. Strange behavior, including Shawn Mendes and Camilla Cabello’s slow strolls at a strategic time, revealed the inner machinations behind the pageantry of the celebrity while we were bored around the house. As we awoke, industries inextricably dependent on the once certain impact of mere celebrity endorsement have had to adapt. Fashion, in its eternal effort to sell us fantasy, has found ways to reach through the noise an increasingly skeptical and savvy social media audience in search of authenticity or, at the very least, of a certain level of self-awareness.
Advertising campaigns have become increasingly complex in their pursuit of that elusive goal of disruptive internet engagement that virality brings. Gucci’s attempt to sell luxury watches through memes, while recent in 2017, simply wouldn’t be enough in this landscape. The hype of streetwear collaborations is now manifesting itself in luxury crossovers, while Calvin Klein’s recent Instagram takeovers have capitalized on the internet’s existing interest in Pete Davidson by appearing to provide access to a platform. otherwise inaccessible form without a large social network of its own. Yes, the livestream was obviously pre-recorded (which goes live with multiple cameras in a weirdly sterile porn shoot setting?), But even the performance of fanservice moments like Davidson’s walk into the camera crotch ignites first. the kind of user-generated internet chatter expected by their marketing team. Likewise, FoxYe’s “Date Night” capitalizes on the same couple revival Cringe that made Davidson and his live-action CK partner Machine Gun Kelly relevant choices for this moment. Adding to a precedent set by sister-in-law Kourtney Kardashian’s #Kravis phase and GF Megan Fox’s insanely gruesome ‘poetic’ Instagram caption love declarations for a man who ironically wears the Machine Gun moniker Kelly, FoxYe uses the same language of obvious photo ops and shameless visual echoes of past relationships to write their own story. Hungry for gossip by Miss Rona, “Date Night” cleverly plays into our pervasive and voracious appetite for the mess of Hollywood romances as evidenced by the rise of the Cringe couple. The fact that Davidson is also Ye’s ex-wife’s apparent new stepfather as well only makes the meta-drama more compelling. With the instant gratification of a guilty pleasure OKAY! exclusive dressed as a Gucci commercial of the Tom Ford era (with only Glenn Martens Diesel instead), “Date Night” is high-level performance art at the climax of the opera drama of Divorce by KimYe.
“Hungry for gossip by Miss Rona, ‘Date Night’ cleverly plays into our pervasive and voracious appetite for the mess of Hollywood romances, as evidenced by the rise of the Cringe couple.”
Opera is not an exaggeration. If you want further proof of Ye’s understanding of how to create moments that resonate through endless white noise, look no further than KimYe in the days of the divorce. Covering the extremely staggered release of Donda, and Balenciaga’s unexplained and sustained double-threading from that point on, the couple’s decoupling has been a series of unified shows thanks to their shared unofficial outfitting. Although already estranged, Kim dutifully reprized her role as a bride to re-enact her marriage in the first official public appearance of Demna’s first Balenciaga Haute Couture bridal look to promote Donda. Since then, she seems to have lived almost exclusively within the brand, overturning expectations as one of the world’s most perceived women by attending the Met Gala return in a faceless morphsuit t-shirt dress while Ye paired her full cuts to an edgy Halloween mask. When Julia Fox was next spotted with Kanye – also dressed in Balenciaga – earlier this year, the story of Julia Fox’s Ye-ssification was written. The creative direction of Demna Donda was clearly spilling over into IRL – branded content without commenting on the broad fashion storytelling approach.
Previous explanation, this strategy shifts the audience from passive consumer to active consumer, inviting them to fill in the blanks themselves while creating an intrigue thanks to the novelty of this premise. We, like the other actors in this scene, have a role to play in shaping the fantasy. Either you can take it all at face value and get carried away by a whirlwind romance through spontaneous flights from Miami to New York and believe the fiction that diners were thrilled to be subjected to an impromptu photoshoot at Carbone – or, you can generate the kind of organic buzz that marketing teams dream of by dissecting, proliferating, and disseminating various different interpretations through TikToks, Twitter threads, and think tanks like this. Bringing together reality TV royalty, an A24 actress and artist accustomed to pouring personal pain into the public domain, and a rapper who claims divine creative powers in his creation of myths as Yeezus – the cast are ready to take us into the third act of this extravagant, ever-evolving, multi-level theatrical performance. Mimicking Ye’s model of transforming the women he dates (see: Kim Kardashian and Amber Rose linked by Hervé Leger), “Date Night” must be understood and analyzed as a living artifact of a time when the narrative of the Fashion and the cult of celebrity collided like never before to position it at the start of a new chapter. Kanye’s masterful manipulation of pop culture and the way we consume it thrills us with impatience for his next move – the ultimate hype-man for what Demna describes as “a mutual willingness to grow and do something big and new “. Even if you’re not a Kanye et al fan, aren’t you having fun?