Why Kanye West's NSFW Nude Models Are Relatively Subtle
For Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, any press is good press. And press attention—context aside—is precisely what they’ve been racking up in 2018.
Recently, Mr. West angered the world with his impetuous and offensive remarks about slavery being “a choice,” while his wife, Kardashian, won over Donald Trump and managed to score some points in the prison reform department. All headline-making news!
Now, they’ve done it once more thanks to a sexy Yeezy campaign. To promote his “Super Moon Yellow” Yeezy Desert Rat 500s sneakers, West called on photographer Eli Russell Linnetz (a previous collaborator) to shoot a parade of models all wearing the shoes, all posing in artistic (albeit, strange) and intentionally shocking positions.
The images getting the most attention? Uh, those would be the nudes.
The campaign also includes models like Kirsten Noel Crawley and twins Shannon and Shannade Clermont, plus a Kourtney Kardashian look-alike, couples clinging onto each other, women in matching hoodies, and other NSFW images.
Naturally, the campaign shots are controversial. Twitter users have called out West, adding that the campaign is “disgusting” and wondering, “why is this happening?” Which reminds us: Ye has a history of making contentious casting decisions, all of which seem to relate back to his obsession with Kim.
Here's a quick recap, which serve as a reminder that we probably shouldn't be surprised by his latest stunt.
Yeezy Season 6
Rather than invite guests to a fashion show, West decided to introduce his Yeezy Season 6 line with a lookbook. In November, Kardashian stepped out in a parade of looks (mostly over the course of one day) that found her doing mundane things like eating a McDonald’s ice cream cone and stopping by FedEx, all while decked out in Spandex-like Yeezy pieces. Obviously, we later learned the “candid” paparazzi shots were, of course, for West’s collection.
Yeezy Season 6 — The Lookalikes
Soon after, West decided to play into his wife’s friendship with another beloved 2000s celebrity: Paris Hilton. He hired the former reality TV star to also pose in Yeezy Season 6 outfits, this time recreating the same exact looks Kim wore just a few months before. For the project, he also invited Jordyn Woods (model and Kylie Jenner's bestie), Amina Blue, the Clermont twins, plus Noel Crawley, among others.
Yeezy Season 4
When casting for Yeezy Season 4, West received backlash after tweeting he was searching for “multiracial women only." Fans were angered over the implication that he was in search of women who only looked black, but were not black—though he later said the move was supposed to be inclusive.
“The ten thousand people that showed up didn’t have a problem with it,” he said in an interview with Vogue. “How do you word the idea that you want all variations of black? How do you word that exactly?”
At the same show, dozens of models were made to stand in the New York Summer heat while they waited for West to kick off the show. (He and his family were hours late.) Some models even fainted.
Yeezy Season 5
West made positive waves by casting Halima Aden, the hijab-wearing model that has since scored several major magazine covers, in his Yeezy Season 5 runway show.
“Famous” Music Video
West’s fascination with doppelgangers is nothing new. In 2016, he dropped his “Famous” music video (the song in which he infamously says, “I made that b— famous” in reference to Taylor Swift) and included a range of celebrity look-alike dolls—all naked—in bed next to West.
A Kardashian clone was included, as was a nude Taylor Swift, as well as figures that resembled Rihanna and Chris Brown, Caitlyn Jenner, Anna Wintour, Donald Trump, Bill Cosby, and George W. Bush. Apparently, the whole concept was inspired by Vincent Desiderio’s painting “Sleep.”
Yeezy Season 8
This week, Kim Kardashian was photographed paparazzi-style in two monochrome orange and blue Yeezy-esque looks that, according to hairstylist Chris Appleton, have been designed for Yeezy Season 8. Kardashian posed with her sister, Kylie Jenner, in one shot.
Though confirmation of the project from West himself is pending, we know one thing: he’s over the clones, for now.