In what has been a big week for the Kardashian-adjacents, with Kourtney and Travis announcing their engagement, Kanye West has also been creating headlines. Or, should we say Ye. The musician recently filed for trademarks to use “Ye” on sanitary and fashion masks. Details about both designs were not divulged, however, and is unclear just when he plans on releasing the masks.
As well as that, West has legally changed his name to Ye (just Ye), in a move that has been in the works for a few years now: a Los Angeles judge recently approved West’s petition to legally change his name, although he has been hinting at the change as early as 2018. “The being formally known as Kanye West. I am YE,” he wrote on Twitter. In the same year, Ye also remarked that his name is “the most commonly used word in the Bible,” stating, “In the Bible it means you. So, I’m you. And I’m us. It’s us. It went from being Kanye, which means the only one to just Ye, just being a reflection of our good, our bad, our confused—everything. It’s more of a reflection of who we are [as] beings.”
In a somewhat surprising sentence though, this isn’t the strangest thing going on with Ye right now. In addition to his new name, Ye has also been spotted sporting a new haircut – debuted on his Instagram on Monday night. The patchy style had online critics speculating whether his kids had taken to the clippers, or even if this was a wild attempt at covering hair loss. However, die-hard Ye fans are never too far from the discussion, suggesting that the musician was creating a new trend, and even spotting his new name, ‘Ye’, shaved into his hair on the back of his head.
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Despite all of this speculation and the drama of his trim reveal, Ye has also been seen walking around Europe covering it up – in a series of, well, creepy masks. On trend for spooky season, the masks have ranged from a full-face slasher mask, reminiscent of Michael Myers in Halloween in Venice and Berlin to a full latex Fantômas mask, the villain from an eponymous French horror movie from the 60s.
Perhaps a paradoxical performance of anonymity or a mediation on the very notion of celebrity (à la Gvasalia in Balenciaga’s most recent show), the past year has seen West’s public persona amplified by these visual, trollable moments. And now more than ever, many of them border on menace. Of course, Ye is known for public stunts and breakdowns, and has also technically been concealing his face since the Margiela face masks of Yeezus. But this new performance seems to go beyond high fashion and regress back into the Halloween dress-up-box.