Kanye West will not show his womenswear line, DW, at Paris Fashion Week this season, WWD reports. Karla Otto, the singer-designer's publicity firm, confirmed the news but will not say if this means the line itself is discontinued.
West has yet to comment on his absence, though he has made it abundantly clear that he was unhappy with the critical response to his initial two showings in Paris. In March, he went so far as to ban fashion critics, including The New York Times' Eric Wilson, from previewing his second collection. Wilson challenged West's decision, telling him it was a great opportunity to explain his point of view, to which the designer responded to the critic, "If they don't understand it, they don't understand it." Ironically, the Fall 2012 collection in question ended up scoring decent-to-solid runway reviews. Rolling Stone found it a marked improvement over his debut.
West's sensitivity to criticism is no secret, and when the initial feedback on his DW women's line came back decidedly negative, he was hurt. Spring 2012's materials were off-putting, its fits were awkward and its overall taste level fell on the wrong side of decadence. West had big ideas but wasn't used to high fashion's cutthroat standards – particularly those in Paris, where Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton and most major luxury players present their collections. It was naive for a neophyte to simply show up to an age-old party (relatively) uninvited and think that entrepreneurial spirit, nerve, and musical acclaim would translate to stellar reviews for a poorly planned line. "This is my first collection. Please be easy. Please give me a chance to grow," West beseeched of his afterparty-goers as the scathing reviews poured in.
Even as fall's collection saw growth in his vision and execution, West seemed to lose heart in his new craft. In a wild rant on Twitter early this year (that, like many West outbursts, became instant meme-bait), he explained that his true quest was to set up a mind-blowing operation called DONDA, a 22-tier creative laboratory that would revolutionize the overall course of humanity. Though he urged the curious to send their resumes in at once, there was little further discussion of this feverish project. Since then, West has returned his focus to music and, of course, to styling girlfriend Kim Kardashian. Now our best chance to see West's style manifest may be to simply witness the couple's flashy attire on the red carpet. That may be for the best.