Kanye West’s creative partnerships severed over anti-Semitic tirades

Throughout his career, Kanye West, who last year legally changed his name to Ye, has collaborated with designers to realize his vision for music, clothing, set design and architecture. In 2007, he hired minimalist architect Claudio Silvestrin to design his Manhattan penthouse and worked with Virgil Abloh on the cover for West’s 2010 album. My beautiful dark twisted fantasy. In recent years, West has launched his own experimental design agencydabbled in affordable housing, worked with major global brands for his Yeezy fashion line, spoke with students from Harvard Graduate School of Design (standing on tables) and SCI-Arc, and collaborated with architects Oana Stănescu and Dong Ping-Wong.

After a recent series of bizarre and inflammatory comments made by West about the Jewish community, including on social media and during a two-part interview with FoxNews host Tucker Carlson (although much of West’s anti-Semitic tirade was suppressed by the program), many of those relationships are coming to an end.

In recent days, there have been a series of major business and creative departures from Ye’s orbit, including Anna Wintour and vogueSpanish-based fashion house Balenciaga, talent agency CAA and entertainment company MRC, which announcement yesterday he was scrapping a finished documentary about West. Most notably, Adidas announced this morning that it was ending its highly lucrative partnership with West, effective immediately, after days of mounting public pressure. As reported by Forbes, the German sportswear giant stands to lose $650 million by ditching the hugely popular Yeezy brand. Gap also announced it was removing all Yeezy merchandise from its stores, following the termination last month of what was supposed to be a 10-year partnership.

West has also worked with famed Swiss architect Valerio Olgiati on a planned creative campus on the struggling hip hop artist’s sprawling Wyoming ranch. Today, the architect shared an Instagram Story via his valerioolgiati account in response to the news. The story, which has since been deleted, read in full: “My architecture is created honestly and without prejudice. I can’t and don’t want to take it back. I support the Jewish community and reject any form of hate speech. »

While the impressive underground project of Olgiati is still not built, the architect has shared in recent days illustrations of the project that have been deleted. (Previous posts, as recent as 9/11, remain visible with the “Wyoming” geotag and no mention of his problematic client.) Prior to today’s activities, Olgiati was criticized by online commentators for continued to promote his plans with West and reportedly blocked Instagram users who called him out.

Olgiati’s work with West on the Wyoming project – a sort of vast underground colony of artists – garnered considerable media attention through a series of publications, including the New York Times. Talk to KALEIDOSCOPE, he described his working relationship with West: “I’m the creator and he’s the producer. Kanye is also like a trainer, almost. Its radicalness is unbeatable. He is a great artist and an absolutely gifted entrepreneur at the same time. Everything around him is about creation and creativity.

Although he rarely talks about mental health issues, West previously revealed a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Although there have been calls for critics to have compassion for West, to be sure that mental health issues do not excuse hate speech and behavior towards the Jewish community or other groups. (West has previously been criticized for making numerous anti-black remarks, including that slavery was a “choice.” He also appeared at a Paris Fashion Week show earlier this month wearing a White Lives Matter t-shirt.) Given his oversized platform, Kanye’s words have an outsized impact, and those words have yielded disappointing results.

Amid the ongoing uproar caused by his anti-Semitic rants (which prompted temporary suspensions on Instagram and Twitter), design news has arrived that West has announced other efforts related to architecture and planning, to know a vision for a mini-city dubbed the “Yecosystem” populated by Ye-branded homes and stores.

A reported on various past architectural passion projects from the West, including a domed quartet, star wars— inspired, affordable housing prototypes erected — then demolished — on the Calabasas, Calif., property he shared with his ex-wife Kim Kardashian.

As for today’s news from Adidas, it was well received by Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, who wrote in a statement:

“It’s a very positive result. This shows that anti-Semitism is unacceptable and that it has consequences. Undoubtedly, Adidas did the right thing by cutting ties with Ye after his vicious anti-Semitic rants. We were proud to see so many people joining ADL’s #RunAwayfromHate campaign that pushed Adidas to make this decision, including the thousands of people who emailed, the dozens of celebrities who spoke and leading brands that cut ties. Taken together, all of these elements sent an unambiguous signal that compelled the company to act. Ultimately, Adidas’ action sends a powerful message that anti-Semitism and bigotry have no place in society.

A has reached out to Olgiati’s studio for additional comment and will update this article when we hear back.

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