In the interest of full disclosure: I love the collection Yeezy built - right down to his namesake hi-top in a sleek and sophisticated shade of cyber-perfect gray that sold out within the first 10 minutes. That's a mindboggling 9,000 pairs of shoes we're talkin'.
The man himself, well, I think he might have benefited from times gone by, when there was actual mystery left in the world and we didn't (have to) know absolutely everything about everyone. But bygones be bygones and the past passed. That being said, in a recent interview following his Fall 2015 show, Kanye revealed that underneath his mouthy and cocktastic exterior lies the soul of an artist. Who profoundly appreciates talent in others and willingly shares the love with some admirably big love. Like for Mr. Lauren: "Ralph is the god. And that’s all I want to say about Ralph."
For his adidas collection, he tipped his hat to four fashion greats."You see Raf Simons right there, you see Helmut, you see Margiela, you see Vanessa [Beecroft], you see Katharine Hamnett. It’s blatantly right there. I’m not going to try and act like I was influenced by a fucking dog walking down the street that broke its ankle that I had a heartfelt discussion with. I had a heartfelt discussion with all of these fucking Helmut Lang images that I stared at for so many years....I also just wanted to say a major influence was the London riots because I was living in London at that time and saw the way that the kids wanted the clothes and I didn’t have the skill set to do the more inexpensive clothes...Now [with adidas] I have a team of really, really great designers that speak in a very Apple, Pixar-type way."
But more than just dabbling in fashion design - "I wouldn’t consider myself to be a designer...I just want to propose a solution to problems that me and my wife and my friends face" - West actually has Robin Hood'y aspirations on his fashion consciousness-raising agenda. "Because I believe there’s some information in it that can help people have better lives. And it’s being held and blocked and not given to the people. There are a lot of kids in the streets that have waited for someone to speak for them and what they’re doing and for them to connect with it directly. I’m only concerned with making beautiful products available to as many people as possible … The least I could do is spend my time trying to give other people a piece of the so-called good life."
Which is good in my book, particularly his shredded-to-perfection sweater, long camo car coat and, of course, the sold-out sneaks. "I'd like for life to somehow be easier when you throw on a piece," he adds. Or three, I would add.
- Lesley Scott
The aggressive feel of this collection is very congruent with the vibe of the Apocalytical fashion tribe which has a chic cloud of effitalltohellalready Doomsday & End Times that seems to follow them everywhere. For more of my posts and podcasts about the Apocalytical tribe, CLICK HERE. To learn more about each of fashion's four mega-tribes that I track, START HERE.