Donda Academy uniforms are all-black, Yeezy Gap and ‘the hardest’

Bruno Cooke October 25, 2022
Donda Academy uniforms are all-black, Yeezy Gap and ‘the hardest’

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Kanye West launched his Simi Valley private school, Donda Academy, on November 18, 2021 – according to The US Sun – and Internet users have been marvelling over the institution’s ethos, uniforms and curriculum ever since.

The school advertises a 10:1 student-to-teacher ratio, and fewer than 12 students per class.

Its daily schedule includes “full school worship,” an “enrichment course” in “World Language,” and lessons in parkour.

And its uniforms, in the parlance of one Twitter user, are “the hardest […] of all time.”

Photo by Steve Granitz Archive 1/WireImage for The Recording Academy

Who designed the Donda Academy uniforms?

Per Rolling Stone, the school uniforms donned by Donda Academy students consist “entirely of his Yeezy and Gap designs.”

One Twitter commentator describes the school as having “the hardest school uniforms of all time.”

They’re all black, save for a large white logo on the backs of the sweaters, and are likely among the more expensive sets of school uniforms in the country. One Twitter user estimates Donda Academy students as having to wear uniforms “that cost probably $2,000 USD on StockX.”

StockX is a live marketplace for sneakers, apparel, electronics, collectibles, trading cards and accessories. It’s comparable to eBay.

Reddit user reckons Donda Academy uniforms are made by Balenciaga

A Reddit user posting in the r/Balenciaga forum last year shared a photo of what they said was a Balenciaga item of clothing offered to their cousin.

The cousin, they said, had received an offer from Kanye West’s new California school. They were canvassing opinion on the name of the design. 

View the post here. The clothing item is black and has a white, apparently amorphous logo. Another user, responding to the original post, suggested that it was Balenciaga’s dove/Donda logo.

Photo by Edward Berthelot/GC Images

Others said unequivocally that it’s the Donda Academy logo, although it looks different to the logos visible on the backs of the sweaters of Donda students elsewhere.

How much does it cost to attend the school?

Current enrolment for Donda Academy is “just under 100 students.” Rolling Stone cites Tamar Andrews, “a consultant for Donda” with 20 years of experience in early childhood education programs, for the figure.

The outlet adds that the school has 16 full time teachers.

Tuition fees for a year at Donda Academy amount to $15,000, but “around half” of its attendees are in receipt of some level of financial assistance. The Cut published a feature on the school earlier this month in which it claims the school has “not yet been accredited,” meaning “graduating seniors might not have credits or diplomas recognized by colleges.”

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It adds that the school is currently in its third year – in contradiction to The US Sun’s claim that it launched in November last year. The school has 82 enrolled students, per the outlet.

Curiously, while The US Sun cites the California Department of Education’s school directory when reporting that the school launched in November 2021, Donda Academy currently does not appear among the search results for educational institutions in California’s Simi Valley.

Watch the Donda choir sing Good Morning and gospel at Paris fashion week

Earlier this month, Kanye West shared a video of students from his Donda Academy school singing Good Morning, Donda on TikTok, all clad in their signature all-black Yeezy Gap uniforms.

The video has received 2.7 million likes and more than 32,000 comments since it went live on October 3.

Donda students exercised their vocal chords at Paris fashion week, too. TikTok user The Dining Dolls has uploaded several videos of the troupe circling in a large group while singing gospel. Watch one such video below.

Rule 51 of the academy is that students “must be confident in forming ideas. If not, their writing will suffer.” Such confidence seems to also relate to their singing. 

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Bruno Cooke has been a freelance journalist since 2019, primarily with GRV Media. He was an early contributor to The Focus, and has written for HITC, Groundviews and the Sheffield University newspaper – he earned his MA in Global Journalism there in 2021. He’s the Spoken Word Poetry Editor for The Friday Poem, and self-published his debut novel Reveries in 2019, which his mum called both a “fine read” and “excellent Christmas present”. Bruno has lived in China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines and likes, among other things: bicycle touring, black and white Japanese films, pub quizzes, fermentation and baklava. In 2023, Bruno will set off with his partner on a round-the-world cycle.