Kanye West’s Rep Dismisses Underpaid Model Claims
Kanye West’s representative has denied accusations the models at West’s recent fashion show and album release party were not paid.
The rapper debuted his Yeezy Season 3 collection and staged a listening party for his new album, The Life of Pablo, at Madison Square Garden on Thursday in time for New York Fashion Week.
However, in a lengthy post on Instagram, a user known only by the name of ‘kur-ents’ – who claims to have taken part in the show – alleged many of the models were working for free, with some even wearing clothes from retailer American Apparel, editors at TMZ report.
“Kanye finnessed [sic] 1200 young black adults into working as extras for free to a sold out white crowd that was screaming ‘all day nigga’. We didn’t find out we weren’t getting paid til 6am. He sent us to Jersey and put us in Salvation Army clothes (not Yeezy, my pants were Carhartt and my shirt was American Apparel),” he wrote on Friday.
West’s camp has fired back at the claims, telling writers at TMZ that all the models were fed, paid and dressed in the rapper’s fashion line for the show.
A source explained that because of the large number of participants in the presentation, some were in vintage clothes that were dyed and were paid a rate of $10 an hour.
Another model opened up about the guidelines models were given before the show to gossip website Jezebel.com. It is alleged that West instructed the models not to smile, whisper, dance, sing, make eye contact, “act cool,” look at any cameras, or make the same movements at the same time.
A representative for West has yet to officially comment on the reports. However, the rapper hinted he is unhappy with the criticism of his presentation in a barrage of posts on Twitter on Friday.
“I had an album listening and clothing presentation and Madison Square Garden,” he wrote. “…People were crying… people were throwing up the fist… people were dancing… I’m a human being… I’m an artist, bro … you have no idea what I’ve had to go through… so many people didn’t make it and gave everything they had for me to stand on their shoulders and break through fashion… fashion ain’t no joke for me… It’s a way of life… creative expression and industry… I’ve given everything I had for this moment… a lot of people feel it’s the paradigm shift…”