Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 3 show kicked off New York Fashion Week with a bang. The surreal mix of celebrities and fans gathered at Madison Square Garden yesterday to witness the highly anticipated event that featured fashion, music, and art. But what some people might not know is that the insane scene actually drew inspiration from a 20-year-old photograph with a dark back story.
According to TIME magazine, the invitation to Yeezy Season 3 featured an image taken by Paul Lowe in 1995. The photo (shown above) was shot in Rwanda and features thousands of Hutus packed into a refugee camp just a day after a massacre. The similarities between the photo and Yeezy Season 3 setup are pretty clear: the draped tarps, the smoky haze, and the somber mood among the crammed crowd.
“When my work gets picked by other cultural forms and used to explore the edges of what social politics are about, it’s quite interesting,” Lowe explained to TIME. “If people want to find things in my work that is relevant and useful to contemporary issues and contemporary politics, that’s great.”