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Balenciaga fashion house reportedly cuts ties with Ye

PARIS — The Balenciaga fashion house has cut ties with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, according to a news report.

The move came after several offensive comments from Ye, including antisemitic posts that earned him suspensions from Twitter and Instagram.

"Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist," parent company Kering told Women's Wear Daily in response to a query Friday without elaborating.

The company did not respond to multiple emails and calls from The Associated Press requesting comment. A representative for Ye also did not respond to a request for comment.

Ye had collaborated in several areas with Balenciaga and its artistic director, Demna Gvasalia. The label has also had an active relationship with Kim Kardashian, Ye's ex-wife, who has appeared in their advertising campaigns and credits her former husband with introducing her to the brand.

Ye was recently blocked from posting on Twitter and Instagram over antisemitic posts that the social networks said violated their policies. He has also suggested slavery was a choice and called the COVID-19 vaccine the "mark of the beast."

After getting locked out of the social media platforms, he's offered to buy right-wing-friendly social network Parler.

During Paris Fashion Week, the rapper walked as a model in Balenciaga's ready-to-wear show — what designer Gvasalia at the time called an "iconic moment." He was then seen at Givenchy's collection wearing a Balenciaga-branded black tooth brace.

Ye was also criticized that week for wearing a "White Lives Matter" T-shirt to his Yeezy collection show in Paris and the shirt made an appearance on the runway itself. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, White Lives Matter is a neo-Nazi group.

In recent weeks, Ye has ended Yeezy's association with Gap and has told Bloomberg that he plans to cut ties with his corporate suppliers. Adidas has placed its sneaker deal with Ye under review, and JPMorganChase and Ye have ended their business relationship — although the banking breakup was in the works even before Ye's antisemitic comments.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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