“I just have it on my phone, is that OK?” asked a panicked Yeezy showgoer just after 1 p.m., clutching her phone like the prized possession she deemed it to be. The line down 26th street in Chelsea had begun to form, as attendees of Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 4 followed diligently the instructions parceled into their inboxes earlier in the day.
Those in line for the buses didn’t seem to find the experience all too odd for a fashion show. “Maybe it’s necessary because of the place?” said a fan, queued up for the Roosevelt Island-bound buses. “I think it’s kind of fun,” another said in line. “I’m not working today, so it’s a holiday.”
“I think Kanye’s the only one who can get people to come out to Roosevelt Island, and [can give you] your invitation at four in the morning,” said stylist Marcus Paul, as the buses were loading up. “I think it’s interesting – no one knows what to expect, and I think fashion needs that right now – just in terms of the turmoil and all the different directions the fashion world is in right now. Whether you love him or hate him, you’re still interested in what he is doing. He commands that audience.”
The Kardashian clan and their extensions (Tyga, Jonathan Cheban) took to the front row, along with Kacy Hill, Desiigner, Pusha T, Pharrell and Two Chainz, who was sporting a collection of jewelry with his look. “It’s vintage,” he said of a bracelet. “And I keep my pills and sh-t in there – you know what I’m saying.”
Sitting shirtless on a wall removed from the pack was NBA player Iman Shumpert, who became an overnight sensation of sorts when he and wife Teyana Taylor appeared in West’s music video for “Fade,” which premiered at the VMAs. Such a connection didn’t give Shumpert any insider information on what was about to unfold.
“Who knows, he’s got us outside in a park sweating,” Shumpert said. “There’s no telling what he’ll do. I’m just here to see my wife.” What exactly that would look like, he wasn’t certain. “I don’t know, I’m waiting – she might be sitting next to me, who knows,” he said. “I just flew in – I have no clue what’s going on. I didn’t even know I was part of the VMAs. That’s how it works with him.”
Vanessa Beecroft went practically unnoticed lingering behind editors, as she took photos on her phone – it seems no one is adverse to a Yeezy ‘gram – and declined to speak to press. A similarly shy Virgil Abloh stood perched against a tree, awaiting the start. “I’m just excited to watch it,” he said, before politely adding, “I think it’s going to start.”
Overhead, a helicopter circled, which Two Chainz’s security guard guessed was carrying West himself.
Two Chainz offered a nod of contentment when asked how he felt about the show after the last model had walked. “I thought it was dope,” he elaborated, before standing up to start the journey back into the city, joining an exiting pack of editors who didn’t quite seem to share his sentiment.