Hip-hop artist Kanye West is no stranger to controversy. He’s been in the headlines for the past few months, namely for his outbursts and rants on TMZ and “Saturday Night Live,” his wavering commentary on his mental diagnosis, and most recently, for professing his love for President Donald Trump during his recent visit to the White House. So, it’s no surprise that West, also the designer of the Yeezy apparel and shoe line, is drawing more attention to himself — this time with his choice of shoes.
While at an Apple store in Chicago, the “All Falls Down” rapper was seen wearing Forge 96 Track sneakers by Under Armour, the Baltimore-based company founded and owned by CEO Kevin Plank, according to publication Page 6 (The picture was allegedly taken on Wednesday, according to Instagram account @teamkanyedaily).
The unisex shoes are now almost completely sold out on Under Armour’s online store, aside from select sizes. There’s no telling whether West sporting the shoes had anything to do with the sales (An Under Armour representative did not immediately respond to The Baltimore Sun’s request for comment), but his decision to wear shoes from a competing brand is odd, especially since West and international shoe and clothing giant Adidas recently announced that their new shoe, the Mauve Yeezy 700’s, will release Oct. 27.
Could there be a collaboration between West and Plank on the horizon?
Aside from both being involved in the apparel and shoe business, both have known ties, albeit loose, to Trump.
Plank was previously on a White House advisory committee for manufacturing jobs but later resigned after considerable pushback on social media and from celebrities who backed Under Armour following Trump’s refusal to denounce white supremacists and racist groups that marched in a weekend rally that turned violent in Charlottesville, Va. Plank later stated that Under Armour focuses on sports, not politics, and that the company would do everything in its power to support diversity and inclusion.
West has made his support for Trump clear this year and has defended it, wearing Trump’s red campaign hat that reads “Make America Great Again” at public events, including his appearance on “SNL” earlier this month. West and his wife, reality star Kim Kardashian-West, have also both visited the White House on separate occasions to meet with the president.
BEST OF BALTIMORE INSIDER