Kanye West, Balenciaga and Bottega Veneta walk into a bar. No words, just vibes and a mass deletion of all their instagram posts, accounts, comments. Whatever engagement level, you name it, gone.

What’s going on?

If you’ve managed to take a gander at the chaos that is Kanye West’s Instagram over the past few days, you’ll notice that the rapper has taken a no-holds-barred approach to his social media.

A shot from Kanye West’s Instagram taken at 21 Feb. Image: Instagram
Not two hours later, goneskis. Image: Instagram

Aside from the harassment of ex-wife Kim; accusations of cheating; threats directed to everyone and no one and one very specific person, the interesting part is how quickly these vanish. Almost as fast as they’re put up.

Taking control of the narrative has become a big talking point for Ye in his current incarnation. Whether that’s aimed at the tabloids and news or trying to manipulate the public perception surrounding the fallout between himself and Team Kardashian begs to be seen. This means that at any given moment, there could be 20 Instagram posts on his account before going back to zero.

You know you’re in deep trouble when you’re the ONLY post on Ye’s grid. Image: Instagram

You could argue that Ye’s just avoiding potential libel. There’s been some big claims made on old mate’s grid. But delete all Ye like, screenshots last forever.

But there’s also another argument.

Over at Balenciaga, creative director and Ye buddy (and Kim kollaborator too, if recent campaigns are anything to go by) Demna has adopted a similar churn turf approach to the grid.

The Balenciaga Instagram has become a digital whiteboard where collections are posted then deleted to make way for the next phase, next drop, new campaign shots. 

Currently up are images from the Identities series starring Eliza Douglas and directed by Quentin Deronzier. Demna’s own personal account is also home to zero images.

Only a few weeks ago, the brand wiped all posts and relaunched with a single shot of Justin Bieber wearing Fall 2022.

Bieber for Balenciaga. Image: Instagram @Balenciaga

Before Ye and Balenciaga however, it was Bottega Veneta. When British designer Daniel Lee joined the Italian house one of the first moves he made was to delete the official brand Instagram. Gone was years of content in a snap before Lee launched an in-house magazine that would become their official channel to reach fans along with unofficial account New Bottega that would showcase new releases and collections.

In a twist of irony, not long later, Bottega would delete Lee from the brand but that’s another story.

But what is it about the purge that’s so appealing?

Social media is, for all its faults, one of the most comprehensive archeologies we have. The amount of data, photos, information that has been shared and reshared – we’ve handed our lives over to online platforms. With younger generations having grown up with the overshare of social media, maybe the platform is a dying trend? Fingers crossed.

Pour one out for our embedded social posts. Image: GRAZIA

Social media – Instagram and Facebook in particular – are also baggage. We’re constantly told to let go of the past and what is a mass delete of personal photos, tagged photos shared with ex partners, ex friends, ex collections if not just that.

When the likes of Ye, Bottega and Balenciaga (and more) dispassionately rid themselves of vestiges of yesterday, there is no past. The past is over. There is only now.

Which reminds me. Brunch is so yesterday. Excuse me while I go detag myself from every one I’ve ever had.