Yesterday, Kanye West debuted his newest Yeezy collection in typical Yeezy fashion: with an over-the-top presentation that got a lot of people talking. Editors and West's friends traveled to Roosevelt Island for the show, where, after waiting outside in the sweltering heat, they were ushered up the stairs of Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park to see dozens of model-extras, decked out in gradient hues of Yeezy Season 4 undie-apparel standing, waiting―the now signature performance art aspect of Yeezy's show, courtesy of performance artist Vanessa Beecroft.
After the show, we talked to two of those models about what it was like to stand for hours in the heat (at one point, one of the models, Gordonnay, looked like she actually fainted), how they got picked to be in the show, and what it was really like to be a part of Yeezy Season 4.
Sorry! I feel so bad!
No, you guys did an amazing job, it's hard out here! How long were you standing outside for?
We were standing out here for a long time, but I've just been working all week.
It's also really hot… We were waiting inside to get in and we were like 'It's terrible!'
And I also have no clothes on so it's not like I'm overheated.
But the standing is really hard.
Yeah, like your knees lock up. I should be used to it, but I don't know what happened today.
So how did you get involved with the Yeezy show?
I actually just went to the open call. I stood in the line for two hours!
What was the process like? Did you just stand in line and then show them your comp card?
No, I just took pictures–that was it. I didn't have to tell them like, 'hey, here's what I did before.' They just looked at me, they knew what they wanted and I guess I made it!
How did you feel when you were chosen?
I was actually in class and left class! They were like, 'You have a fitting right now.' I got all my stuff and walked out. My professor kind of looked at me and I was like, 'I'm sorry!'
So you're still in college?
Yes, I go to Seton Hall University.
Cool! So how did you get to the show today?
My dad actually drove me!
Was he watching?
No, we live in Jersey so it's like 20 minutes away from the city. He dropped me off. I had to get here at 7 a.m.
Wow, that's crazy! How long have you guys been standing out here?
The sun only came out really when everyone walked in, of course! Before it was cloudy.
So what were your directions? What were you told to do, just stand?
Really just free, whatever we wanted kind of. I think [Kanye's] just really laid back. He's like a really nice person.
So you could just stand or sit if you felt like it? Or anything like that?
How did you feel when you saw other people starting to sit?
I honestly didn't want to sit because I felt like this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I didn't want to sit but I guess that backfired on me.
So how did you get involved with the show?
So, I heard about the casting call, but I was like, 'Oh, I probably won't make it, but I'm going to the concert anyway.' So I went to the concert last night, and actually I was approached while I was on the floor to be an extra. So I didn't go to the calling, I was kind of asked to come and I was like, of course! I'm a Kanye fanatic. So here I am and it's been a crazy day. I left the city, went home, changed and came back—took like the earliest train and I'm here.
Where do you live?
I go to school at Marist College so I went back to my campus in Poughkeepsie and I came straight back down.
Are you serious?
In the middle of the night, last cab driver I could find—the latest he would bring me was 3:15. I was like, I'll just wait at the train station—I was not missing it for the world.
When they approached you at the concert, were you like, nah, this is fake? Or did you know who came up to you?
No, it was like—because I had the VIP passes and certain staff have a different sort of VIP pass, and when she came up to us, we were kind of just talking, and she goes, 'Hey, my boss wanted me to approach you. We need some extras for the fashion show tomorrow.' And I was like, 'Are you serious?' and she goes 'Yeah!.' She goes, 'We still need girls.' I was like—they closed the doors on people!—yeah, so I was like, 'Of course I'll be there!' So I wrote down my email and by the time I left the concert everything was set in stone.
What time did you have to get here this morning?
I had to be here by 7 a.m.
What was the fitting like? Was it just like, here, this is what you're going to wear?
Well we got here—I was one of the first girls here—and then we went upstairs around 7 and the fitting, we didn't really get into any of that. We did hair and makeup, went through all that. That probably took the longest, and then we got dressed and I wore the black outfit. So that went really smooth, the other outfits were kind of changed around a little bit more. But yeah, everything was a pretty smooth process for us, all the girls. We're pretty close to each other now. We're all like getting each other's Instagrams and phone numbers. It's like created such a fast bond and it's amazing.
Were you self-conscious? Were you like, 'this is what I'm gonna wear in front of all these people?!?'
Yes and no. When I got my outfit I was like, 'okay, I can do that.' When I saw other people's outfits I was like, 'You're brave, girl. You're brave. I support you. I completely support you!'
What directions were you given when you were brought to the set?
Well we got here, we got into our formation that they put us in. It was just really to relax, but also to stay confident and stay just structured and still, mostly. But if we ever were uncomfortable we had the option to sit down, which was really nice because sometimes you don't get that. So we got the option to sit down or stand up, but other than that it was just pretty much 'stand still.'
Did you sit down?
Yeah, I did. ...cause of fatigue with the sun all day, running up and down.
Oh my God. It's so hot!
Yeah. I've had about 45 minutes of sleep with coming from the concert to the show, and here I am. So, yeah.
Have you modeled before or was this your first time?
Never anything professional. This is my first, like, legit something-to-talk-about. It's always been with friends in school.
What were you thinking while you were standing out there?
It was literally like watching a movie, and it's weird that I was a part of it. I feel like being that person's like, 'Oh my God. I can't wait to work with Kanye West. I can't wait to see Teyana Taylor and all these people in front of me.' Like, Pharrell's walking past me; he's one of my heroes.
Did you guys talk to Teyana backstage at all?
No, we've only been right here. We haven't even talked to Kanye or anybody yet.
So now what? What is the plan for the afternoon?
That's a good question. I'm not too sure. I'm sure they'll tell us in a couple minutes if we have to take any more photos or anything like that. Yeah, it's pretty much go as they tell you, but it's been pretty nice, though.
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