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Who Is Katie Eary And How Did She Get An Advance Listen Of Kanye West's New Album?

There's still no release date for Kanye West's next album, nor will there ever be because "release dates is played out." (Gird your loins for that surprise drop, y'all.) Collectively, the world has heard at least one, maybe two songs from Yeezy's forthcoming seventh solo studio album, but there is an elite legion of folks who have heard the whole thing. First, there were those 20 people in Paris, and now, it seems Ye commandeered designer Katie Eary's London Fashion Week pop-up store and turned it into an impromptu listening party. Lucky them! *grits teeth with so much jealousy it's PHYSICALLY overwhelming*

If you're all, "Who the heck is Katie Eary, and why is she so special that she gets a surprise Kanye listening party?" SHAME ON YOU, GTF OUTTA HERE, YOU KANYE-NATOR allow me to enlighten you. She's a London-based designer who cut her teeth dressing Kate Moss and quickly earned the favor of some of the biggest rappers of the moment. Ever heard of 2 Chainz and A$AP Rocky? Thought so.

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Katie's aesthetic is marked by bright colors and digitally altered photo-prints, usually of biological things like animals or birds or aquatic life or brains or guts or foliage. While these days, she's usually showing menswear and presenting during the men's fashion weeks, her designs are fairly unisex, so they've also won over plenty of female fans like Rihanna and Rita Ora. Erecting the pop-up shop (which held court in London tattoo lounge One By One) during LFW was a great way to appeal to the ladies who love Eary, but the Kanye drop-in made it *that* much sweeter for anyone who showed up. Still, that doesn't explain what makes here so special as to warrant a massive surprise like this.

Well, Katie and Kanye forged their creative relationship a few years ago, and it's been a match made in fashion heaven ever since. After admiring her streetwear designs from afar, Ye hired Katie to work on his debut ready-to-wear Paris Fashion Week collection as a creative lead alongside Louise Goldin. The move was one that stuck with Katie for years, telling Metro UK, "He believed in me more than anyone for a long time. He still helps me." She's been ride-or-die for Ye ever since, even going so far as to dock the fashion press' criticisms of Kanye as a designer as "far too harsh" and "totally unnecessary." And for that, it appears, she has been rewarded with the sweet sounds of Kanye's next album.

The biggest question left is: When can we hear it??