Tim Gunn: Kanye West’s Yeezy collection is ‘dumb, basic,’ perhaps a ‘hoax’


I said earlier this week that Tim Gunn would be my dream husband in my dream marriage of convenience. We’re just so well-suited for each other, or so I would imagine. He would help me shop for flattering clothes and I would explain the plot and fan-theories of Game of Thrones. And even better than that, we would gossip together. I would do my thing, and call out to him, “Come here and look at the photos from Kanye West’s latest Yeezy Collection.” And Tim would put down his needlepoint and come to the computer, adjusting his glasses as he leaned over me. “My God,” he would sigh. “Kanye West is a disaster!” You see, Tim Gunn has a long history of hating on all things Kardashian-West. And he still hates everything about them! This is what he told Access Hollywood about the Yeezy collection:

“I’m totally perplexed about why the fashion industry has not looked at these, frankly, dumb, basic clothes and cried ‘hoax.’ Kanye West is a sphinx without a riddle. I just don’t understand why people are so in awe. [The models in the show were] basically wearing stretch undergarments. I think the only thing dumber than these clothes would be the people who would buy these clothes.”

[From Us Weekly]

For what it’s worth, people ARE buying the Yeezy + Adidas collection. Adidas is pleased with the sales, so much so that they invested more money into the collaboration and they’re putting the collection into more stores. The Yeezy-brand shoes in particular are bestsellers. While I don’t want to contradict my poor, suffering, mercurial fantasy husband, I do think that Tim sounds a little bit out of touch with what “the kids” want to wear? Yes, I think a lot of the Yeezy-wear is basic too, but if it sells, it sells. That was the argument Tim Gunn made for designers expanding into plus-sized clothing too – he argued that the designers brave enough to venture into plus-sized clothing see an improvement in sales, and the bottom line doesn’t lie. Why can’t that be expanded to Kanye’s urban-wear? If Adidas is willing to take a chance on Yeezy and it sells, how is that a “bad” thing?


Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet, WENN.

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100 Responses to “Tim Gunn: Kanye West’s Yeezy collection is ‘dumb, basic,’ perhaps a ‘hoax’”

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  1. lilacflowers says:


    • Hannah says:

      Tim is right, the clothes presented were a bunch of spandex or a bunch of ugly s*** only the Kardashians and the wannabes wear. If regular people aren’t wearing or have the desire to wear it, you’re not a good fashion designer, sorry Ye.

      • Wiffie says:

        Well to be fair, a lot of fashion that is genius art isn’t meant to be functional, it’s just art that can be worn. McQueen pieces are a good example of exquisite fashion that most won’t want to ever actually wear.

        That said, kanye is indeed a terrible designer. No desirability to wear or function in any of his pieces, and they are far from art and have very little creativity. Bad bad bad.

    • Santia says:

      +3. This is a “the emperor has no clothes” moment. Kanye’s “designs” are garbage and pedantic, but no one in the “fashion” industry (besides Gunn) wants to say it first. Especially since Kanye cried racism about not being able to break into the fashion industry. After seeing his clothes, now we know why nobody wanted to risk their reputation on him.

      • Deborah says:

        Very well and truthfully said thank you.

      • lanthanide_highway says:

        the thing that REALLY gets me, other than the fact that a man with the intelligence quotient of a tribble is allowed to drive, vote and breed, is that kanye doesn’t “design” ANY of it. all he does is give it the yea or nay and slap his name on it… it’s well documented that kanye uses some hare-brained and frankly scary-looking woman, amongst other ass-slobbing parasites he surrounds himself and she-who-shall-not-be-named with, to custom “design” everything in his life, from his wardrobe to his interior decorating to the giant, jaw-droppingly asinine “art” installations he wastes more money than the GDP of some small nations on. much like his relationship with reality he’s only marginally involved in the whole process. but that’s not surprising from a man that probably attacks mirrors when he sees his own reflection in them.

      • Annetommy says:

        I like Tim on Fashion Police, the only one with the sense and ball@s to point out the vulgarity and tawdriness of a lot of the red carpet dresses, while his co-presenters squeal their admiration of them.

      • Chanteloup says:

        haha @lanthanide_highway! Your whole comment is such lol excellent shade

    • INeedANap says:


      Seriously, he sells Spanx and tshirts. If that is what the kids are buying I weep for the future.

    • Gigi says:

      Kanye west is to fashion what Donald Trump is to the US presidency. They get away with it because we let them–we are stunned by their audacity even though we realize that the emperor has no clothes. Just look at our airline industry which has zero interest in customer service, treats passengers about as badly as they can and still gets customers to pay for everything while they treat them shoddily. Where are the charismatic, articulate, intelligent people who can call BS on the charlatans and hoaxers both calmly and effectively?

    • Deborah says:

      Kangay kartrashin has a new name for next year . Delusional disastrous designs by Kangay kartrashin the only people that will wear them are family and friends. Boycott everything kartrashin, jenner and west. Please go to Google chrome browser and type in Kardashian filter and never get anything kartrashin again.

  2. respect says:

    Can a sister wives situation be arranged?

  3. Josefina says:

    He buys $2 cotton shirts, rips a couple holes on them, and sells them for $75.

    I think it sells because he’s famous and people are stupid, to be honest. You can literally make your own Yeezy wear for 10% of it’s price. And that’s counting the price of the scissors and the bus ticket.

    • Goats on the Roof says:

      “People are stupid”

      YES! First exhibit: the fascination with Ye’s trashy wife and her equally trashy family.

    • Lynnie says:

      I saw an Instagram post on how to make Yeezy suede ankle boots with knee high socks and nude pumps. It was mind blowing. Anyone buying his stuff full price is actually a fool

    • JenniferJustice says:

      Also, the Yeezy line seems to be popular with the youth – not adults. Teens may not have been the target audience in mind, but that’s what happened and it’s making him/them money, so why wouldn’t he?

      I don’t think Tim (whom I adore) realizes that the stupid consumers buying these hoax clothes are kids.

    • lucy2 says:

      It’s pretty clear the clothing is garbage, it’s a shame some people are actually so foolish and/or blinded by celebrity that they’re buying it.

      • WeAreAllMadeOfStars says:

        I don’t know, I just looked at some of the slides from fashion week and it didn’t look that outrageous to me. Of course if it’s Adidas, it’s going to be spandexy and what have you. It’s fashiony and very much in line with the trend towards pseudo workout clothes as everyday wear.

        Edit: Okay, now I’m seeing the nylon bodysuits everyone is referring to, and they’re ugly. But so is a great deal of fashion as far back as I can remember. Big whoopdeedooda.

  4. BengalCat2000 says:

    I’m so glad that Tim Gunn exists in this world.

    • Bluebelle says:

      I came to say just this. I like that he’s not easy to impress, and that he legitimizes worthy people, in a you’re-talented-you-belong way. I feel like he might say the quote “people want a prize just for showing up”, because they fuck-ng do. Kanye is a prime example of this; yes he’s musically talented, but his fairy godmother is all sorts of wrong. Just because you want to do something doesn’t mean you will be able to be good at it.

  5. Escondista says:

    Nothing wrong with people wanting to pay $800.00 to wear a full-body nylon but I think Tim Gunn doesn’t appreciate this being lumped into the couture and high fashion category.
    I tend to be team Gunn over team Wintour.

  6. Lara K says:

    I don’t think it’s what kids want to wear. I think it’s an Emperors clothes situation. They want to buy a piece of Kanye. Tim is just saying that piece happens to be the toenails or something equally gross.

  7. DanaG says:

    I’m with Tim Gunn. Who is buying these clothes besides Kim and clan I can’t see anyone wearing these depressing rip offs that aren’t original or even nice looking. How do we know Kim isn’t going out buying heaps of his stupid clothes.

    • lilacflowers says:

      They only make them in very limited supply so they will sell out quickly, even though just a small number of people are buying them. They did a pop-up shop in Boston last month and it was mostly just t-shirts.

      • Shannon1972 says:

        Exactly. It’s not like they are producing large quantities of his designs…if they have a production run of 500 pieces instead of 50,000, and they sell out to collectors, that’s not exactly impressive. But he can still say he sold out.

      • Erica_V says:

        Exactly – Just like Kylie’s lip kits they under produce to ensure they sell out because that sounds better and makes them seem more exclusive then they really are.

    • Gigi says:

      As it has been written about countless times now, the craziest thing about Kanye’s collection is that it is basically a huge ripoff of Mugatu’s Derelicte in Zoolander. Why aren’t Will Ferrell and Ben Stiller suing? This has got to be a hoax. No one can be that deluded about his “talents” as a designer. Kanye must have watched the film and decided that he could do just that and make tons of money.

  8. Danielle says:

    Just checked out the collection. Literally sweatpants, sweaters, sweatshirts and cut off sweatpants for $300 a piece. Mind blown.

  9. Nev says:

    I love Tim and the show but he’s not on point here. Yeezy fashion is a coveted insanely popular item around the world. Too bad he’s not happening here.

    • INeedANap says:

      Why? I don’t understand. They’re at best basic, at worst ugly, and completely overpriced. Is it his name? I have no respect for people who worship a celebrity to the point of buying crappy Spanx.

    • hogtowngooner says:

      He’s not saying they’re not successful, though. He’s saying they’re ugly and anyone who buys them is a fool.

    • Stella Alpina says:

      Just goes to show you there are plenty of stupid people around the world (aka sheeple) who will jump on a bandwagon if a famous name is attached to it.

  10. mkyarwood says:

    Lolllll, A Hoax. That’s what Kanye should call his next line!

    • mkyarwood says:

      Also, those are the NIke sneakers from Back to the Future he’s wearing. Not ‘Yeezys’.

    • Beatrice says:

      Finally someone has the guts to say “The Emperor has no Clothes.” I love Tim Gunn. Who’s buying Kanye’s awful clothes–Kardashian Klones and other wannabes???

  11. Naya says:

    But wasnt Kanyes show negatively reviewed anyway. It’s not like industry insiders (besides his bestie, Anna) are tripping over themselves to laud him. The market on the other hand responds to him so maybe Tim Gunns problem is that the plebs consider Kanye a taste maker. Its good old snobbery, imo. Also, his quote about Kanyes designs are how this pleb feels about most of the stuff on the runway.

    • anna says:

      judging from this comment one could think kanye invented the sweatshirt. it’s not snobbery. that collection doesn’t showcase one original thought. oh wait, the ziplock over-the-knee boots. pure genius!

      • Naya says:

        Have you seen the catwalks. ALL those clothes have either been done or are so obnoxiously ugly only a handful of Artistes would ever wear it. That whole industry is a hoax if you ask me. Anyway, the fact is that Kanye is not well received by the reviewers anyway, so whats Tim complaining about? The fact that Kanyes stuff sells? Is he complaining that shoppers dont know what “true art” is? Because that just reeks of industry snobbery. For better or worse, Kanye is considered a taste maker by the people who actually carry the wallets. Those over priced T shirts sell out within a day – I’m not even kidding. Tim and his industry are just going to have to deal.

      • Josefina says:

        Kanye never studied fashion design. He literally grabs a cotton shirt, makes a couple holes in it, sells it for 15 times it’s price and calls himself a fashion genuis beyond criticism. And people buy it (though it seems he produces small quantities, so selling out within a day is not that impressive). Meanwhile there’s thousands of people out there with a genuine interest in fashion, who have studied fashion design, who do have fresh and original ideas and they never get a gig.

        You know how there’s many brilliant struggling writers out there who don’t get a job, yet all these celebs on the verge of illiteracy have published books? How there’s photographers with genuine love for their craft who are completely unemployed while Kim Kardashian has her own selfie book? Well, this is the same thing. Kanye is a man with miniscule talent who gets gigs most fashion designers can only dream of, and what he does with it is buy a cotton shirt and rip a hole in it. Of course fashion people are pressed and mad. Why wouldn’t they be?

      • k says:

        Any hack can sell out anything if they have name recognition and manufacture their garbage in limited quantities, which is exactly what Kanye has done.

      • Naya says:

        I wasnt pleased when EL James broke records with her badly written nonsense while actual literary geniuses have to keep their day job, but thats the damn market. If a book critic began demanding that EL james be declared hoax by the literary world, I would point out that she already has. NOBODY is handing her writing awards just as NOBODY is handing Kanye designing awards. But like Kanye, EL James also has a recipe that appeals to consumers. So if you want to end her, you would need to speak to those people. And what would you say; “you guys are so dumb for picking this, now I will tell you what you should like”? “Stop giving him/her your money because I know more about books or fashion than you”? Would it even matter to consumers that some high brow critic hates their favorite blockbuster film or smutty novel or clothes designer? I assure you, it would not. In fact, it has the exact opposite effect. Tim needs to just get over it.

      • Josefina says:

        Well, he is a man that knows about fashion because that’s his field of work, and he’s giving his opinion on a fashion collection. He sounds mad, and I’m explaining why he sounds mad. Get over it? As in, “People dont appreciate talent in artistic fields but whatever. You wouldn’t let Kanye West represent you legally or perform brain surgery on you just because he’s Kanye, but you’ll buy his clothing just because he’s Kanye even though he has no clue what he’s doing. But whatever. I’m fine with that. It was my fault for not being a lawyer or a brain surgeon. You could make your own Yeezy wear for 5 bucks but I’m not an accountant either so don’t pay attention to me.”

        He’s not calling for a boycott. He’s just giving his opinion on a subject he knows and cares about. I fail to see how he did something wrong or uncalled for here.

      • Naya says:

        The point is there is no logic to what he is saying. He isnt just saying that he hates Kanyes work, he is demanding that his industry denounce him. Well, they kinda already have. And despite the ridicule Kanye continues to work on lines ….because his clothes actually sell. So Tims real problem is that the consumer doesnt care what industry critics think. They like what they like. And as long as thats the case, Kanye will continue to get financing to show at these fashion weeks. The plebs have spoken. Thats what Tim needs to accept.

        As an aside, I was just relaying this story to my co-workers and their response mirrors mine – “but they are all hoaxes”. I’m sure Tim would love to “educate” us about what makes those clothes art or whatever but like I said, people like what they like. Lecturing from the high table will not change that.

    • Lyka says:

      I actually agree with you, Naya. Hood By Air and Vetements are two of the most current and provocative labels in the luxury market right now, and they both also literally just make sweatshirts and t-shirts and leggings. It’s basic casual urbanwear with a pedigree, and the only reason Kanye doesn’t get lumped in with Shayne Oliver and Demna Gvasalia is because his name has actual value in the *mass* market. Kanye’s inspired by a lot of the same designers as Oliver, and I’d wager he has better insight into the politics of black American fashion – which Gvasalia and company frequently crib – than the European team over at Vetements.

      The industry is sustained by exclusivity. It’s how they keep their cultural cache pure and their retail markups high.

  12. littlemissnaughty says:

    My issue with Kanye as a designer is the same I have with modern art. If the artist knows his craft and can do more than paint a red dot on a blank canvas, I say go for the red dot. I’m still not paying for it but then it’s a decision on their part. If they simply can’t master anything else, it’s not art. It’s an idiot painting dots. Kanye is not a designer. He puts his name on the clothes, that’s why they sell. Can he actually draw/sew/create an entire line? No. And I know not all designers can sew but they know their craft. Kanye does not. You pay for his name and that alone.

    When I buy a Chanel bag (I don’t because I can’t of course), I pay for the name as well. But at least it’s a unique design and fantastic quality. A Yeezy sweater with holes in it that retails for €1,400??? I actually can make that myself.

  13. SM says:

    Oh but I think that may have been not just Jezzy diss. He just shaded Vogue for jumping on the Kanye West is a designer wagon. I think he won’ t miss a chance to drag Anna. Even her ice cold heart must have felt a cold breeze from this shade

  14. Esmom says:

    If we’re talking urban street wear — and I’m no expert, my only knowledge comes from reading about it — don’t buyers care about authenticity? Unlike a brand like Hood By Air, this stuff doesn’t seem authentic, it’s corporate America.

    While I love Tim Gunn, I think he might be too high maintenance even in a marriage of convenience. It’s why I dream of Anderson Cooper as my fantasy husband. :)

  15. Squiggisbig says:

    Totally agree with Tim. The other thing is that you look at previous seasons of Kanye’s clothes there doesn’t appear to be much change or growth in his vision. I think they literally will never get beter because whenever Kanye is criticized he just says “don’t disrespect my genius!” He got into a dispute with Kid Cudi the other day and had the same response (KC said he doesn’t write his own music and rather than refute that he just asserted he was above criticism).

  16. Andrea says:

    Totally agree.

  17. minx says:

    Love, love Tim.

  18. paolanqar says:

    Tim Gunn is amazing.
    He should print Kanye’s pouty face on some fabric in some form of pattern and give it to his contestants on Project Runway to work with. I would love to see the shade going in all directions during that episode. I would pee myself I’m sure.

  19. Clare says:

    Like him or not, he is making a tonne of money for adidas – or they wouldn’t be investing in this. They have shareholders to answer to! I like Tim Gunn, but in this instance I think he is wrong/out of touch. People are buying this (even if Tim Gunn thinks its shit). this isn’t the only stupidly expensive bizarre (diffusion) line out there, either. These aren’t even the most expensive t shirts or sweatpants on the market. He is only able to sell what people are willing to buy…you can hate the line and the person but that’s just a simple fact.

    • Lambda says:

      Dumb clothes for dumb people then? At the end of the day, everybody wins, buyers, pouty megalo, and Adidas. Fine. But success is not talent or vision; if that were the case, Jessica Simpson would be the new Coco Chanel.

    • Flowerchild says:

      From my understanding Kanye has to line the crap he puts on the runway and the less crappy ready-to-wear clothes adidas sale.

    • Josefina says:

      He never said his brand was unsuccesful. He just said it was crappy.

  20. Lucy says:

    Tim must be one of the few people in the fashion industry with both a brain AND a heart (and I say this as a fashion lover).

  21. Aussieboy says:

    Are people “in awe”? Really? What are the sales figures on the previous collection in store? Is it moving units at a retail level? As far as I’ve seen from my years (and tears) in the clothing / fashion biz….all the “press darlings” (Raf Simons / Jil Sander etc etc), receive ALL the praise, but i know from close relationships with buyers at large retailers (cough Barneys NY cough), that it don’t sell baby. Press is one thing. Sales and sustaining a brand is another entirely.

    • Flowerchild says:

      As I said above Kanye has to clothing line the crap he puts on the runway and the less crappy ready-to-wear clothes Adidas sales. Yes they never reveal the sales figures for his collection, all they say is that it’s selling. It seems like the same old sale trick, supply a limited amount of items so they run out faster which makes it look like the item are in demand.

  22. Oatmeal says:

    Lots of.things.make.money.that.doesn’t.mean it isnt crap

    Trap music, for starters.

  23. The Original Mia says:

    Where’s the lie? Team Tim Gunn all the way.

  24. Sasha says:

    I think Kanye’s stuff sells because of the peer pressure. I can’t understand what is s special about Air Jordans, but people are willing to kill for them. It is a status symbol as I understand.
    Time will pass, we’ll get knew idols and new ridiculous clothes.

  25. Harryg says:

    Thank you Tim!

  26. Frey says:

    Because so many people are basic, dumb, and love hoaxes that they take for realness. Tim Gunn, always on the mark.

  27. Jasmine says:

    @Kaiser, EXACTLY! I Love Tim Gunn with a capital L but the point you just made is ‘spot on’. You should tweet that to him! At a certain age, unless your one of those timeless type people, we become out of touch with, well, the people who spend the money on the product. While I don’t/wouldn’t wear Yeezy clothing, my kids would. My 11 and 13 yr old sons want the shoes soooo bad! I don’t mean to speak in agism but when your 40,50,60/.. you dress differently. Some clothing speaks to a young buyer and some clothing speaks to a more mature buyer. Timm almost seems, I hate to say, hypocritical in his statement here.

  28. Nev says:

    Zara, H and M and Nike have all copied Yeezys styles. Holes in the clothes and the muted colours. Yeezy is already being knocked off. It’s happening that’s why.

  29. Stephanie says:

    Because he was talking about making women look good while being profitable. Which is what clothes are supposed to do. With Kanye, he is simply selling his name. That’s what he thinks is dumb. That people are willing to shell out money just wear his name.

  30. jeanpierre says:

    Old snob is snobing. I like Kanye post-apocalyptic fashion. It actually makes more sense than half the clothes I saw on that FW.

  31. Pandy says:

    Of course he’s right. And it doesn’t matter that people are buying this shite – it’s fugly and they look like sheep for thinking it’s new and hot. It isn’t. He’s the new Ed Hardy lolllll. Kanye should stick to rapping. He’s not the multimedia talent he thinks he is. Spanx as outerwear. I will point fingers and laugh if I ever run across anyone wearing this mess.

  32. Turtle says:

    “A sphinx without a riddle” is just brilliant.

    And a piece of wisdom from confidence men two centuries ago: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

    If you want to get philosophical, perhaps it’s just that people crave a sense of belonging so badly they’ll buy into anything that makes them feel part of a special group.

  33. Jwoolman says:

    But the prices are so ridiculous. Who is actually buying them? Are they just rich kids? That would also explain the small runs.

    Maybe they’re in stores mainly as a draw for people who want to see what they look like up close, but who can’t afford them.

    I continue to be baffled by the ripped pants and torn holes in shirts phenomenon. Doesn’t this greatly reduce the lifespan of the clothing? Bringing the day closer that they will go into the washer and never come back out?

  34. MANTHONY says:

    Team Tim Gunn here, but I work and work out around a lot of younger college aged men and women & it’s how surprising how easily brainwashable they are. Kanye & the Kardashians have been around for most of these people for a huge part of their adolescence and they could piss on some of these young peoples heads and convince them it’s rainwater. The fact that Kanye was able to even produce and line and get it to Fashion week is enough for them to part with foolishly with their money

  35. freewhitebaby says:

    I have a dresser full of Yeezy’s. I got them at Goodwill. I use them for yard work and such. Unfortunately his name fell off of them and got replaced with Hanes and Fruit of the Loom and other such common names, but I dare anybody to take a look at them and tell the difference. Of course, my Yeezy’s don’t have as many rips and holes in them, but eventually they will and then I’ll have to toss them in the recycle bin for they guys that come by on the big truck every week and haul things off.

  36. Robin says:

    The “sphinx without a riddle” line was brilliant, and so true.

  37. cd3 says:

    “Kanye West is a sphinx without a riddle” – this quote made my life.

  38. Susan says:

    His Adidas Yeezy shoe line and this abomination of a clothing line are two completely different things though. Tim is commenting on his clothing that is shown at NYFW.

  39. hogtowngooner says:

    Finally someone in fashion has the guts to say the truth!

    Between this and the plus-size comments from the other day, I’m officially in love with Tim Gunn.

  40. Adele Dazeem says:

    I love Tim Gunn. Thank goodness for someone like him who isn’t sycophantic but calls it like it is – that Kanye West does not have a talented designer bone in his body.

  41. what's inside says:

    All Hail, Tim Gunn. The man is totally fabulous. This statement was so damned funny: “Kanye West is a sphinx without a riddle. I just don’t understand why people are so in awe.”

  42. Jillybean says:

    Tim! Thank you for taking up where wintour fell.

  43. Lipsticktraces says:

    I saw something on the TV news about lines of people showing up for a recent release of Yeezy gear — and it made me wonder if all of the buyers were there hoping to re-sell via eBay and such for a profit due to the publicity. There is a real glut of this stuff on the re-sale sites. The whole issue of ‘throw away’ fashion needs to become — like the use of plastic water bottles — something we think about and change: http://www.newsweek.com/2016/09/09/old-clothes-fashion-waste-crisis-494824.html