Balenciaga Cuts Ties With Kanye West Amid Controversy

Balenciaga has removed Kanye West from its website—ending their business relationship with the rapper after online rants and hate speech. Here's what the French fashion house had to say.

By Alexandra Bellusci Oct 21, 2022 7:39 PMTags
Watch: Balenciaga Has Cut Ties With Kanye West

Kanye West is now off Balenciaga's grid.

Following controversial comments the rapper made about George Floyd's death on an Oct. 15 episode of the Drink Champs podcast—which has since been taken down—the fashion house Balenciaga has announced it has severed its relationship with the Yeezy founder.

Kering, Balenciaga's parent company, told Woman's Wear Daily in an Oct. 21 statement, "Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist." 

While on the podcast, Kanye indicated that Floyd's May 2020 death was from fentanyl use and not by Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer, who was convicted of killing the 46-year-old in 2021. 

Following the "Stronger" artist's words, the Floyd family—including his daughter Gianna Floyd, 7—said they have plans to sue Ye for $250 million in damages.

"The interests of the child are priority," attorney Nuru Witherspoon told E! News Oct. 18. "George Floyd's daughter is being retraumatized by Kanye West's comments and he's creating an unsafe and unhealthy environment for her."

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The 24-time Grammy winner has had a close relationship with Balenciaga's creative director Demna Gvasalia over the years and even made his runway debut during Paris Fashion Week earlier this month, opening for the label's summer 2023 show. 

Balenciaga parting ways with the 45-year-old comes amid several fashion partnership changes for the rapper. Back in September, he ended his agreement with Gap, with his lawyer telling E! News Sept. 15 that the company left Kanye with "no choice but to terminate their collaboration agreement because of GAP's substantial noncompliance."

Additionally, Adidas placed its decadelong partnership with the Yeezy brand "under review," on Oct. 6.

Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images

Kanye's appearance on Drink Champs occurred just a week after his Twitter and Instagram accounts were locked on Oct. 9, with Twitter and Meta (Instagram's parent company) citing violation of company policies for the reason. Since then, the "Mercy" rapper has announced his intentions to purchase the conservative social media platform Parler. 

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