This past Christmas, Kanye West got fiancé Kim Kardashian a Hermes Birkin bag that caused a lot of talk in the fashion world. While Birkin is a huge name in fashion, this one was a little different than the typical bag. The gift was hand-painted by artist George Condo and featured three nude women on it, alongside a freakish monster.
This wasn’t the first time West and the artist got together. Back in 2010, Condo did the artwork for Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album. But this particular bag, which Kardashian absolutely loved, got people talking in a negative way. Fashionista reports that people used adjectives like “horrific,” “disgusting,” “vile,” “tasteless,” and “terrible” to describe the bag. West was completely unfazed by all this negative talk, though because he actually anticipated it the whole time.
This creation truly was one-of-a-kind, and West Kim’s fans wouldn’t like it nearly as much as his she did. Recently, Condo spoke with W Magazine about the particular bag. “Kanye and I both knew immediately that people who knew our collaboration would think it was fun but that Kim’s fan base would go berserk,” he told the magazine in an interview.
He then went on to explain that the whole point of this was to take such an icon in the fashion consumerism world and change it up. “You can’t do this! It short circuits people’s concept of what’s untouchable, which is why it was fun to do.” People have a specific image for what a Birkin bag entails, and this was nothing of the ordinary. Condo even admitted that the bag only took him 15 minutes to paint.
Him and Kanye wanted it to make an impact on her fan base. “If I had just done it and put it in my closet, it wouldn’t mean a thing. But when you stick that bag in the hands of Kim Kardashian, well, then you create a whole different atmosphere. It’s about context.” Kardashian is such a huge icon in the fashion world, and people who keep up with her didn’t really know how to react to the painting, since it’s unlike anything people usually put on such expensive bags.
Us Weekly reports that West, who is known for pushing boundaries, made an announcement at his most recent concert at Penn State University on Thursday, Feb. 13 that seems to be related to the release of this bag. “Everybody’s so scared of trouble,” he said. “But I’d be more afraid of not having the love of ya’ll. I’d be more afraid of not giving you everything that I got. I’d be more afraid of turning into one of these people inside of the system that’s so scared to do anything. To say anything. And controlled by everything. And they don’t believe in anything.”
West then went on to thank his fans for all they do and for always loving and supporting him. He knows they don’t care what he wears or what he does while he’s on shit. “Ya’ll don’t give a f**k what happen,” he said. “Don’t say s**t about Ye!” Apparently, West won’t be letting anybody bring him down in 2014. He plans to be true to himself and express himself out loud, as he usually does.
So even though West and Condo realize this painting basically ruined the iconic Birkin bag, that’s not what it’s about. The two believe in putting anything they like out there and knowing their fans will support them no matter what. They knew Kim’s fans wouldn’t be into the painting, but they’re just trying to get her fans to be more like West’s fans, by supporting him no matter what he does.
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons