In light of the harsh criticism that was thrown at Kanye West for his Yeezy Season 4 collection and its sweltering outdoor runway show at New York Fashion Week, the fledgling fashion designer’s response seems to be: “Hey, at least I tried.”

Fashion critics threw so much shade at the collection that it might’ve saved some of the models from heat exhaustion had it arrived earlier.

West responded in a series of tweets on Friday (September 9), thanking his supporters for being part of his “creative journey.”

West also seemed to address the controversy during a Fashion Week performance at The Plaza Hotel in New York later on Friday.

“At the beginning of this performance I tried my best to not try,” he told the crowd of fashion industry insiders and VIPs, according to the Associated Press. “No, I tried to listen to all the reports and shit and I tried my best to stop trying. But I just couldn’t do it! I couldn’t stop! No matter what they write, I just couldn’t stop!”

“I appreciate y’all going on this journey for me. I appreciate all the years that y’all put up with me learning in front of you. And listening to the music at the same time.”

Check out Kanye’s performance of “Runaway,” with middle finger fully extended to the crowd, below.