“Bernard Arnault Is My New Drake”: Kanye's YEEZY SEASON 9 Show

Kanye West’s creative endeavors are usually devised as spur-of-the-moment schemes that’re worked out in real-time with his people and put into action sometimes within days, if not hours, of them first being conceived. You may be surprised at the speed and scale of these things: take Ye’s YEEZY SEASON 9 fashion show as an example.

To plan a runway presentation or otherwise conventional show held on the Paris Fashion Week calendar, a designer or brand’s team would normally reach out months in advance to the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (which oversees the week), prepare a venue, hire models, ship the clothes, get the production crew in place, send invites, and engage in a few trial runs before the big day. That doesn’t even reflect the five- or six-figure cost of it all.

Kanye, however, may very well have begun planning YEEZY SEASON 9 (or YZY SZN 9, as he’s calling it) a few weeks ago.

It was only late September when Ye quietly announced on his Instagram page, mid-rant, that he was planning a YEEZY fashion show for October 3 but couldn’t secure backing from anyone because of his narrow timeframe.

The post was swiftly deleted and most people forgot about his declaration because, in fairness, it was mixed in between the implosion of YEEZY GAP and random call-outs of adidas executives.

Ye had a comparably quiet month after that, overseeing the sudden drop of YEEZY GAP Engineered by Balenciaga Part 2 and breaking necks with his sparkly flip-flops at the Burberry show later that month, eventually heading to Paris to model for his pal Demna’s latest Balenciaga collection.

He then hung out with another famous designer friend, Matthew Williams, who brought Kanye backstage at Givenchy’s Summer 2023 womenswear collection.

That’d be a sufficiently big month for most of us but it was merely the beginning of Kanye’s busy October.

Indeed, even as he struggled to find production partners in the days leading up to it, Ye ardently clung to the date of October 3 for the unveiling of his latest fashion show, YEEZY SEASON 9.

Reportedly, the affair was so last-minute that YEEZY clothes only arrived in Paris barely a day before the show and the YZY SZN PR firm had to be swapped during the planning phases.

Only 50 people were invited to the presentation on Champs-Élysées —though it was scheduled for 11:45am EST, the livestream actually began at 12:20 and the show began nearly an hour after that — making this far show more exclusive than YEEZY SEASON 8, which held just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in early March 2020 in an open-air space.

It also meant that the number of attendees was dwarfed by the members of Kanye’s DONDA Gospel Choir, flown out exclusively for this YEEZY SEASON show.

However, the presentation was simultaneously livestreamed by ShowStudio and on a dedicated YZY SZN 9 website so that Ye’s adoring public could still see the hijinks in real-time.

Less than a day prior to the YZY SZN show, Kanye teased his YZY SZN event with pictures of the A-list cast of models — including, seriously, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Naomi Campbell, Gisele Bündchen, Irina Shayk, and current muse Candice Swanepoel — and a photo of some hooded character from the collection.

On the ground in Paris, editors were scrambling around trying to get any scrap of information they can find and very little was forthcoming.

Finally, the show began after a video collage of clips. And by “the show,” I mean Kanye came out wearing his sparkly flip-flops and a T-shirt that said “WHITE LIVES MATTER” on the back — seriously.

I’m going to chalk this up to headline-baiting behavior in the vein of Ye’s MAGA hat and glittery sandals.


Before the DONDA choir took the stage, Kanye began speaking loudly and freely, like he so often does on Instagram these days, referencing everything from the YEEZY SEASON show where models fainted in the sun to his combative history with the insular fashion industry, eventually giving Virgil Abloh a shout-out (curiously not saying Ablo’s name, though).

Finally, Ye ended his little tirade with what is easily the quote of Fashion Month: “[LVMH CEO] Bernard Arnault is my new Drake.”

Guess he won’t be taking that job at Louis Vuitton, after all.

None of this is terribly unusual for Kanye, who famously prefers to operate in the realm of utter chaos.

It always works out for him, though: remember, at his surprise NYFW YEEZY SHDZ sunglasses reveal party, Anna Wintour, Chris Rock, and a half-dozen models were in attendance and it spurred a plethora of digital and social media coverage, so I’d say that was a pretty big win.

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