Gosha Rubchinskiy has previously collaborated with Comme des Garcons, Burberry, Levi’s, and other iconic brands
Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy has joined Yeezy, the fashion brand founded by rapper Ye – the artist formerly known as Kanye West – as head of design, Ye announced on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday.
The press release described Rubchinskiy’s hire as “a milestone in design history” and Yeezy as “the pre-eminent global brand in music and fashion.”
Rubchinskiy produced the cover artwork and some of the merchandise released alongside Ye’s most recent album, ‘Vultures’.
The items include “pre-dirtied” concert tour t-shirts with stained sleeves and strategic rips that cost $50 and $80.
Rubchinskiy previously ran his own eponymous brand, which he launched in 2008 in partnership with Comme des Garcons. The label closed its doors in 2018, declaring “We are putting an end to the Gosha Rubchinskiy brand as you’ve known it” and teasing that “something new is coming.”
In 2018, Rubchinskiy was accused of soliciting inappropriate photos of Jan Silfverling, a 16-year-old male model, allegations which promptly resurfaced in the wake of the Yeezy announcement.
Silfverling claimed Rubchinskiy had asked the teen to photograph himself in the bathroom so his parents would not find out after the two discussed the possibility of him modeling for the designer’s lookbook. Silfverling shared screenshots of the purportedly lewd Instagram DMs and WhatsApp texts, which included several deleted messages he claimed were explicit.
Rubchinskiy countered at the time that their interaction was limited to standard “street casting for a lookbook shoot” amounting to no more than a request for a quick snapshot for the designer’s files and categorically denied anything inappropriate had occurred. Rubchinskiy claimed Silfverling had deceptively edited the conversation in a “planned provocation.”
Rubchinskiy had just released a World Cup-influenced fashion line for Adidas, the third collaboration between the two brands during their two-year creative relationship, before the scandal broke out. The brand promised to look into the allegations, though it does not appear anything became of them.
Ye also left a creatively fruitful partnership with Adidas on bad terms last year after the rapper made a series of controversial public statements about Jewish people. He was also dropped from partnerships with Balenciaga and Vogue. Media outrage over Ye’s latest album has already begun after the rapper wore a black KKK hood to a listening party.