Kanye West once again made the rounds at Paris Fashion Week this past season, sitting front row at Givenchy, Lanvin, Dries Van Noten, Rick Owens, Balenciaga, and Céline. While much of the conversation revolved around Kim Kardashian nearly being tackled outside a show, North's fashion week debut, and the Karadshian-West couple being booed, we couldn't help but notice one other thing: the rapper consistently rocking one particular brand. If you haven't been keeping track, Ye wore a few Haider Ackermann pieces while he was in the City of Lights.
First, he attended the Dries Van Noten Spring/Summer 2015 runway show in a black Haider Ackermann velvet sweater, which he paired with his black ripped jeans and Bottega Veneta chelsea boots. Four days later, he stopped by Céline's show in the same jeans and boots, but this time wearing a green Haider Ackermann sweater.
The co-signs began well before Ye's time in the City of Lights. Rewind back to pre-Paris Fashion Week, and Kanye's rotation already included a few pieces by Haider Ackermann, a designer who is known for his draping and avant-garde aesthetic. Just before traveling to Paris, Kanye wore a Diamond Jacquard Print Blazer by the Colombian designer while out for dinner with Kim in London.
Ackermann was born in Colombia, but grew up in Ethiopia, Chad, Algeria, and France before his family settled in the Netherlands. Ackermann was first drawn to fashion after being inspired by the works of Yves Saint Laurent, and moved to Belgium to study fashion design at the prestigious Royal Academy for Fine Arts in Antwerp, which boasts of notable alumni that include Dries van Noten, Martin Margiela, Ann Demeulemeester, and Kris Van Assche.
He launched his namesake label in 2001 and, at the urging of his friend and designer Raf Simons, debuted his first womenswear collection in Paris two years later. It wouldn't be until 2010 though, when he was invited to be a guest designer at the Pitti Immagine showcase in Florence, that he presented a menswear capsule collection.
Despite the positive reviews, Ackermann announced in December of the same year that his first menswear collection would also be his last. "The decision to present a one-season collection was a creative decision," Anne Chapelle, owner and ceo of BVBA 32, the Antwerp-based company that operates and produces Ackermann and Ann Demeulemeester's collections told WWD. "Haider wanted to underline the image he made for his women's line with the man at her side. The men's collection will be added again at the time Haider wants to and it will not be linked to a season. Creativity cannot be forced into a time frame. It is the emotion of the moment being translated to a collection, which is presented and sold to retailers who believe in creativity as such."
To the relief of his fans, Ackermann has since revived the men's line, showing a full Spring/Summer 2014 menswear collection in 2013, a Fall/Winter 2014 collection this past January, and a men's Spring/Summer 2015 collection in Paris, garnering the attention of critics, celebrities, and fans, including Kanye who attended the designer's Spring/Summer 2015 womenswear show in Paris.
Ackermann's work has quickly built up a dedicated following that subscribes to the designer's plush materials, flowing silhouettes, and exaggerated proportions. The Fall 2014 collection, which is in stores now, centered around notions of a subdued and sober dandyism. The looks that Ackermann presented for the season were almost sculptural in their construction, but it was very easy to discern how one could wear a single piece as a standout item in a more everyday, off-the-runway 'fit.
Ackermann's most recent Spring 2015 collection was inspired by style legend Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. After attending his first Stones concert, Ackermann was taken with the elegant shabbiness and decadence of the guitarist. The flowing layers and luxe fabrics were once again front and center in a collection that was all about an opulent bohemia that the rock stars of the '60s and '70s championed. Ackermann told Style.com's Tim Blanks, "The freedom that people like Keith Richards, Iggy Pop, and Robert Mapplethorpe had gave me energy," he said. "They took risks we're not capable of taking." Ackermann definitely is venturing into risk-taking territory, but if you're not trying to come off as an eccentric yet dope dandy-type character in 2014, follow Ye's lead in wearing individual pieces that provide a level of drape, silhouette contortion, and high-end fashion that isn't out of control.