Kanye West and 2XU event cancelled at last minute in Sydney

It is a truth universally acknowledged that fashion loving folk flock, camp overnight and fight to get into any type of product launch that involves Kanye West’s brand, Yeezy.

That is now fake news.

Back in 2016, Australian fans of the rapper and fashion designer queued for more than five hours at a time on a Bondi street before they were able to buy official merchandise of his Pablo tour.

On Saturday at 9am-sharp, West’s latest collaboration with Australian sportswear brand 2XU went on sale.

Fanfare and mass hysteria were forecast.

2XU arranged a one-hour instore ballot followed by an online sale of the “extremely limited stock”.

Staff were on hand early to prep the Oxford Street store with the $550 neoprene leggings, being sold as “Scuba tights”, and the $500 bike shorts.

2XU shop assistant Cici Lawson preps the new Yeezy range at the 2XU flagship store on the morning of the collection’s launch.

The only thing missing was the customers.

An empty shop front: The 2XU flagship store on Oxford St, Paddington at 9AM Saturday for the launch of the YEEZY x 2XU Season 6.

The brand waited for about 45-minutes before shutting the whole thing down with a representative telling Fairfax Media: “There’s been a change of direction from head office and unfortunately the event has been cancelled.”

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Further enquiries went unanswered.

On Saturday evening, the tights and shorts were still in abundance on the brand’s online store despite media being told ahead of the launch: “Fans will have to be quick, with a strictly limited number of pieces from the collection available to the public.”

The hashtag “#YEEZYx2XU” had only been used 10 times on Instagram.

Sources on Saturday said West’s recent social media exploits, where he has publicly supported US President Donald Trump, negatively impacted the release of the highly anticipated Yeezy x 2XU Season 6 collection.

The capsule range was heavily promoted by West’s wife, Kim Kardashian West, to her 110 million Instagram fans. She was also photographed for the cover of the April issue of ELLE magazine in the United States wearing the range.

West continued to anger his fans and famous friends during the week leading up to the launch when he implied, during an appearance on TMZ, the slavery endured by African Americans “sounds like a choice” despite the well-documented history of revolts and resistance.

As well as 2XU, a label that makes compression tights loved by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, West also works with Adidas, which manufactures his much-hyped sneaker line, Yeezy.

A petition has now been signed more than 16,000 times calling for Adidas to terminate its partnership with West.

Following the online firestorm, Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted confirmed the German brand is sticking with West but reiterated numerous times during an interview with Bloomberg that Yeezy sneakers are only “a small part” of the $33 billion company.

Back in Sydney, a town renowned for its love of activewear, it appears leggings still aren’t as popular as jeans.

Down the road from 2XU’s empty store on Saturday morning, fans of denim label Ksubi lined up around the block for several hours for a chance to pick up a pair of the brand’s trademark distressed jeans which usually retail for about $200.

Shoppers line Oxford St for the Ksubi denim fashion sale at their flagship store on Saturday.

The third Yeezy x 2XU collection – Season 7 – is set to go on sale in the coming months.

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