As fraught as his politics may be, the artist formerly known as Kanye West has been quite ardent about wearing masks. Throughout the year he’s been spotted wearing increasingly strange face coverings, the most recent of which being a creepy “white guy” mask worn during a coffee run with former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.
Soon, West may begin selling his own masks as he seeks to kickstart his worst trend since shutter shades. The rapper and designer has filed for a trademark to use “Ye,” his newly awarded legal name, on both “sanitary masks for protection against viral infection” and “fashion masks,” according to TMZ.
Ye already sold black head coverings for $160 similar to what he’s worn on stage as part of his Balenciaga-designed Donda collection, and future releases could match what he’s been seen wearing in public to protect himself from COVID, if not effectively hide his identity.
It’s been a weird year, even by Kanye standards — West’s second mask era, the first being during the Yeezus Tour in 2014, has seen him fully shrouded in appearances at Fashion Week, performances, and meetings with fascist tools. Stocking-like masks were the choice for his Donda listening events, but in the last week he’s been spotted wearing a Michael Myers-like covering in Europe and New York City.
Other mask sightings have included a quilted version at a BIG3 basketball game, and there’s no telling what West might wear next. And while it might seem a little late in the game to corner the COVID protection market, West’s rabid audience is all but assured to follow him in whatever direction he might go. His eerily shiny Gap jackets have brought in $7 million a pop through pre-orders, and another payday could be around the corner as fans try to hide their faces just like Kanye West.