Mixed feelings alert. You might have noticed that over the years Kim Kardashian West's style has begun to shift towards a more "Yeezy" aesthetic. She ditched the large buckle belts and satin body-con dresses for something a little edgier and with more streetstyle. Seeing as her husband doubles as a streetwear designer with a specific vision, it makes sense that that particular aesthetic might have caught her imagination and inspired her. If she likes bandeau bras as tops and trading in low-slung braided belts for sparkling Versace dresses, then by all means, update that closet. Which is why the fashion world smiled when news broke that Kanye West sends Kim Kardashian fashion trend emails to update her on the newest forecasts.
The information was shared on the newest episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, when the topic of Kim's new sunglasses came up. She swapped out her usual over-sized shades for Matrix-inspired sunnies, and the reason was because of an email.
"[Kanye] sent me a whole email like, ‘You cannot wear big glasses anymore. It’s all about tiny little glasses,'" Kardashian West shared on the episode. “He sent me, like, millions of ’90s photos with tiny little glasses like this.”
According to W Magazine, she shared this while wearing those bite-size sunglasses, and a bodysuit and mini-skirt that were all handpicked by West himself.
Seeing how West has his finger on the pulse when it comes to fashion, if Kardashian West asked him to send her updates so she could play with the freshest trends as they broke, then this could be a fun setup that they have going.
Kardashian West shared in an interview with CNN, "Kanye sees what's out there on the streets and knows how to translate that into something that would look good on me, just helping me push my limits a little bit and try new things." It's like he's her unofficial stylist.
In her eyes, he helped her glow up. She shared in that same interview, "Back in the day, I thought I had the best style. I look back at outfits and I'm mortified."
But there's something slightly off about the arrangement that feels more controlling than suggestive. Rather than giving Kardashian the foundation for her style and some general tips on how the aesthetic goes together — and then letting her take over the reigns and choose her own looks from then on — he seems to be handpicking a lot of things out. For one, he was the one that laid out the outfit she was wearing while she spoke about the email. On top of that, the last month she's been wearing the full Yeezy collection to help promote her husband's brand.
She also shared that, in the past, when West would throw out her clothes, she would cry over the change. While appearing on Live! With Kelly And Michael in 2015, Kim said that when the pair first started dating in 2012, West went through her closet to weed out what he thought she should toss. It looked like it was the majority of her wardrobe, and even though she started crying because of her reluctance, into the donation bag it all went.
You might argue that she trusted his judgement and went along with it, but she later revealed she saved everything. She never threw any of it out, just stored it away since she couldn't wear it anymore, implying that she probably didn't agree with his choices in actuality. And that's where the red flags start to spring up, according to relationship experts.
Social workers who work with domestic abuse victims have thousands of cases where women reported they weren't allowed to wear certain kinds of makeup, certain kinds of clothing, certain kinds of hairstyles, and it all feeds into the same loop: Controlling someone's appearance is controlling them directly.
This is not to suggest that Kardashian is in an abusive relationship, but this kind of controlling, take-charge manner of her appearance does appear to overlap with how some people begin to control their partners.
While some might read this and roll their eyes and call it an overreaction, many feminists point towards the "boiling frog syndrome" when speaking about microaggressions like a partner trying to change your sense of style. It's a parable that explains if a frog is thrown into boiling water, it will jump out immediately, but if it's thrown into tepid water which is then brought to a slow boil, it won't sense the danger and die. That's why some women go up in arms over seemingly "small" things like someone asking them to change their look, because it often snowballs into other controlling practices.
And what if Kardashian's style changes and she doesn't want to do streetwear and clingy, sheer pieces anymore? What if she starts liking something on the opposite side of the spectrum? If she all of a sudden got super into rockabilly trends, would West let her overhaul her wardrobe?
The answer might be a confident yes. But the fact that the question exists makes this whole email thing a little less "cute", and a little more eyebrow raising.