Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, has been banned from every social media platform under the sun, yet that doesn’t stop him from flooding our feeds with more controversial news. In today’s “YEWS,” the rapper has appointed a new Head of Design at YEEZY, the Russian designer and photographer who was accused of soliciting a minor for explicit photographs, Gosha Rubchinskiy.
If you managed to escape Rubchinskiy’s name in the transformative years of the mid-to-late 2010s, the Russian designer was a forerunner in the streetwear movement that has taken over high fashion runways. He founded his eponymous brand, ГОША РУБЧИНСКИЙ, in 2008 and climbed the fashion hierarchy ladder relatively quickly. Two years after starting his brand, Rubchinskiy presented a collection for Fashion East, joined the design team at Comme des Garçons in 2012, presented at Pitti Uomo for Spring/Summer 2017, and had highly successful collaborations with adidas, Vans, and FILA.
Rubchinskiy’s aesthetic was deeply rooted in Russia’s rebellious youth culture, not too dissimilar to that of Demna’s. In fact, Rubchinskiy and Demna were known to run in the same circles, and the Russian designer even made an appearance in VETEMENTS’ Spring/Summer 2016 show.
However, Rubchinskiy’s glory days came to an end in 2018, when Whatsapp screenshots showed the designer pressuring a sixteen-year-old boy to send inappropriate images. Not long after, another man, who remains unidentified, also accused Rubchinskiy of asking for explicit photographs, though Rubchinskiy was quick to deny the allegations.
For the father of four and artist also known as Ye, Rubchinskiy’s actions are not enough of a reason not to work with him. Through YEWS, Kanye West’s newly-launched news platform, the following statement was made public: “YEEZY welcomes Gosha Rubchinskiy as its new Head of Design today. The arrival of this legendary Russian designer at YEEZY, the pre-eminent global brand in music and fashion, is a milestone in design history.”
The mobile-only Yews.News site features drop down menus for “10AM,” “3PM,” and “8PM,” prime news time, reporting on all things Ye-related, politics, sports, fashion, pop culture, and more. On there, you’ll find information on Ye’s “Vulture” album, ancient Roman baths in Croatia, and how antisemitism is affecting X, formerly Twitter. While sources accompany each news piece, there are no mentions of journalists or writers who wrote the copy. All we know is that Kanye West now has a hand in dictating what is considered news and how that news should be portrayed on his platform.
The Rubchinskiy-related news came as a shock, as the Russian designer has not been in the spotlight since the allegations became public back in 2018. Though Rubchinskiy being picked by Kanye is less shocking.
It was recently announced that Ye’s Pastelle brand from 2008 was making a comeback, and that, among others, Ian Connor would be leading it. Similarly to Rubchinskiy, Connor was big in the fashion scene between the late-to-mid 2010s, working with Pyrex, Stüssy, and BAPE, as well as being spotted with Kanye himself, Virgil Abloh, and Playboi Carti. Then, in 2016, Connor was accused of rape. As of 2020, Connor has been accused by 33 women of sexual misconduct, although he has never been charged over the allegations.
Kanye has always been a contrarian. But now that he has been deemed ‘cancelled’ due to his antisemitic remarks, the artist has been rallying his troops of men he deems ‘wronged’ by mainstream media. He seems to be on an ‘anti-woke’ journey where platforming his close circle of friends seems to be more of a priority than condemning their harmful behaviour. Needless to say, this is a classic case of projecting.
Main image credit: Henry Hwu ©
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