Having maintained anonymity since the closure of his namesake brand in 2018, Gosha Rubchinskiy has emerged as the creative director of Kanye West’s label in a surprising twist.
Kanye West, through his X account, announced the appointment of Gosha Rubchinskiy as the head of design for Yeezy. This decision, signaling a significant shift in the creative trajectory of the brand, was termed a “milestone in the history of design” by West himself, a surprising revelation considering his usual secrecy surrounding the brand’s internal workings.
Gosha Rubchinskiy’s inclusion in the Yeezy team was met with immediate astonishment. Renowned for his post-Soviet aesthetic and past collaborations with major brands, his addition marks a notable change for Yeezy.
Rubchinskiy’s controversial track record, particularly in relation to collaborations with Adidas and criticism tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been widely publicized. Therefore, the news of his association with Yeezy is received with some predictability.
The historical connection between West and Rubchinskiy extends beyond Yeezy to their previous affiliations with Adidas. Both designers had tumultuous relationships with the sportswear giant, marked by individual controversies. While Adidas suspended its collaboration with Rubchinskiy in 2018 due to controversies, West faced his own share of criticisms, including anti-Semitic statements in 2022 and allegations of inappropriate behavior. The recent decision by Adidas to terminate the Yeezy line is expected to have a substantial financial impact on West’s brand, estimated at €1.2 billion for the 2023 fiscal year.
It also appears that Rubchinskiy, as indicated by his Instagram posts, is involved in the creative direction of everything related to Kanye’s new album, Vultures. This aligns with Kanye’s tradition of entrusting big names from the fashion industry, reminiscent of his collaborations with Virgil Abloh and Riccardo Tisci at various points in his career. This tradition now seems to be evolving towards a post-Soviet aesthetic, in line with the influence of the Gvasalia brothers, currently inspiring the rapper.