LOS ANGELE: More than 20 million viewers watched rapper and fashion designer Kanye West put his own twist on a New York Fashion Week runway show on Thursday as he debuted a new album and clothing collection at famed music venue Madison Square Garden.
West, his reality star wife Kim Kardashian and her family, including former NBA basketball player Lamar Odom, entered the Manhattan venue to cheers from the audience.
The launch was streamed for free online via subscription music streaming service Tidal, garnering around 20 million viewers according to the platform. Tidal, which touts high fidelity streaming, is co-owned by a group of music’s top artists including West, Jay Z, Rihanna and Beyonce.
As West played new tracks for his upcoming The Life of Pablo album, dozens of models were unveiled standing on raised platforms in the center of the arena, wearing the new Yeezy Season 3 that West designed for sports brand Adidas.
The collection, launched on the first day of the city’s fashion week, featured West’s penchant for neutral tones but included bright pops of pink, red and orange across the collection of leotards, tops, leggings and parkas worn by a diverse group of models. West also announced an upcoming video game called Only Once, which he said was about his late mother Donda West’s journey to the gates of heaven.
One particular explicit lyric regarding Taylor Swift on new track Famous garnered a strong response from fans as West rapped that he had made the pop star famous, referring to the their infamous 2009 MTV Video Music Awards incident where West interrupted Swift’s acceptance speech on stage.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2016.
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