Fashion reviews can be mean, mundane and sometimes even glowing — but rarely are they vehicles to make political statements.
This story first appeared in the September 9, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The review, which was penned by Nicole Phelps, only nodded lightly to what most of the media was stuck on — the fact that Yeezy was largely a logistical and sartorial disaster — and instead, turned its attention to politics — not exactly Vogue’s forte.
“West’s selection of the venue seemed pointed and intentional, a political statement in a contentious election year where the Republican candidate’s racism is possibly fueling a culture of hate,” Phelps wrote.
Eyebrow-raising mention of the Republican candidate for president and his apparent racism seemed out of left field – but perhaps Phelps was merely channeling the controversial West? (You know, the man who compared himself to Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Howard Hughes, Harry Truman and Henry Ford at MTV’s Video Music Awards last month).
“We stand by Nicole’s review,” said a Vogue spokeswoman.
Whether Phelps — or Vogue — believes that Trump is a racist is compounded by the tricky relationship that the publication and its editor in chief Anna Wintour holds with West and the Democratic Party. Wintour is an avid Hillary Clinton supporter and fund-raiser, as well as an honorary Kardashian-West.
Vogue was the first major magazine to give West and his wife Kim Kardashian the fashion stamp of approval when it put the couple on its cover two years ago. In September, it also put Kendall Jenner on its cover and in the years in between the Condé Nast-owned title has tapped the Kardashian-Jenners for various videos, shoots and parties.
When asked if that relationship plays any role in its review, Vogue denied the insinuation and offered that Wintour doesn’t edit the reviews and has no bearing on them.
But that’s a tough one to swallow.
Instead of taking aim at Yeezy Season 4’s clothes, which ranged from flesh-toned body suits and flesh-toned stretchy bras to baggy hoodies and boy shorts, Vogue merely called the collection “consistent.”