1664723784 Kanye West just opened Balenciagas SS23 show in Paris

Kanye West just opened Balenciaga’s SS23 show in Paris – ELLE

kanye west balenciaga ss23 show

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Paris Fashion Week was packed with big moments this SS23 season, from Bella Hadid’s spray-on dress at Coperni and Cher Closing Balmain to Saint Laurent’s epic front row full of supermodels.

So expectations were high for Balenciaga, a brand known for its high-profile shows, loyal clique of celebrity fans and penchant for viral moments. Who could forget Kim Kardashian, Dua Lipa and Nicole Kidman’s unexpected turn as models in Balenciaga’s latest couture show?

show balenciaga ss23


When the brand’s show invite was unveiled, we knew we were in for something special: a ‘lost’ wallet stuffed with cards, receipts, money and an ID card that belonged to one Natalia Antunes.

No explanation came along, something we seem to have to get used to: Balenciaga’s show notes stated that creative director Demna has decided to stop explaining his collections or verbalizing his designs. “At best, fashion shouldn’t need a story to be sold to anyone,” the notes read. ‘You like it or not.’

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However, what we certainly didn’t expect was Kanye West opening Balenciaga’s SS23 show. In his very first runway appearance, West strutted down the runway in a head-to-toe black look — a real mud pit with puddles and mud — wearing leather pants, a voluminous multi-pocket safety jacket, and a baseball cap peeking out from under a hood.

In the show notes, Demna explained the muddy set was “a metaphor for digging for the truth and being down to earth.” “Let’s drop everyone and make love, not war,” he concluded, echoing the same anti-war sentiment from his AW22 show, which took place shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine.

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Apocalyptic as ever, the SS23 show also featured models like Bella Hadid with bruised and battered faces, while others walked the runway with baby carriers strapped (featuring Balenciaga dolls) and long dresses dragging in the mud. Meanwhile, everyone from Kylie Jenner, Christine Quinn and Doja Cat to Euphoria star Alexa Demie watched from the star-studded FROW, as did Kanye’s kids North, Chicago, Psalm and Saint West, who attended the show with their dad came.

balenciaga ss23 show kanye

Anthony Ghnassia, Getty Images

balenciaga shows ss23 kanye

Anthony Ghnassia, Getty Images

Clementina Jackson Digital Fashion Editor Clementina Jackson is Acting Digital Fashion Editor at ELLE UK.