Kanye West is always willing to try an unconventional approach, but this one might have been a step too far.
A new report claimed the “Donda” rapper was planning to employ homeless people as models in an upcoming fashion show as a way to address the current homelessness situation in Los Angeles. However, a Yeezy Gap spokesperson told Complex Thursday afternoon that the reported event isn’t on Ye’s schedule and that the rumored collab collection wasn’t happening.
“Ye has a deep and solution-oriented commitment to addressing issues surrounding homelessness but this reported event is not on our schedule at this time nor are we aware of any product collaboration in development,” the spokesperson said.
TMZ originally reported that West is working with the streetwear brand Skid Row Fashion Week on a new collaboration and fashion show that would ultimately benefit the homeless community.
Founder of Skid Row Fashion Week David Sabastian told TMZ that he met with the billionaire rapper earlier this month while West was recording “Donda 2” at his studio, which is located near the infamous homeless encampment area known as Skid Row. Sabastian claimed the pair discussed developing a Yeezy X Skid Row Fashion Week event during that meeting.
According to TMZ, Sabastian’s company donates a portion of all sales to help assist residents of Skid Row. He’s also been employing homeless individuals in his factory. These employees were rumored to be the models being used for the fashion show.
TMZ also claimed the team would be incorporating items found on Skid Row into the fashion looks. For example, they said the show would potentially include a trash bag puffer jacket.
A fashion show may not be on Ye’s schedule, but the rapper has voiced his commitment to helping solve the issue plaguing the city. The homelessness crisis has become pervasive all over the country, but especially in California and Los Angeles in particular. West met with the CEO of L.A. Mission, Troy Vaughn, to discuss some of his ideas for addressing the problem.
According to TMZ, West wants to team up with city organizations to help feed the homeless, plus is willing to use his own companies for the purpose of providing education, jobs, and housing. The “Donda” rapper also said in November that he wants to use his platform and Sunday Service to “inspire and uplift” the homeless population in Los Angeles.
Between these initiatives and teaming with other similar organizations with the same goals, West believes homelessness in the city can be “eliminated.”
According to Daily Mail, a gigantic 94% of people living in Los Angeles say homelessness is a serious or very serious problem. Many also claim that they feel unsafe as a result and have considered moving because of it. Poll respondents ranked the problem of homelessness above other issues including housing affordability, traffic, air quality, and climate change.
The poll surveyed 906 LA County voters. Of the group, four out of ten residents said the regioin’s homelessness problem is a main cause for feeling unsafe in their communities. One in five people said they would consider moving because of the issue.
Mayor Eric Garcetti responded to the poll results after they came out. He said the answers are in line with what everyone is thinking.
“I think it reflects how debilitated we all feel,” he said. “How many years and how many new tents — even as we have successes — can we see in a neighborhood before we feel that we need some short-term places to stabilize people that are on the street?”
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