It’s clearly Yeezy season if you haven’t noticed and Kanye exclusively speaks with Style Magazine on the story behind his Adidas Original’s Collection and why he wants to be the Robin Hood of fashion. Check out his interview inside..
Tell me about dressing Kim. Why is that important to you? Do you see it as similar to your design process, dressing her?
It’s learning. She was always my muse, now she’s become other designers’ muses. Or designers’ muses, because like I said, I don’t want to disrespect designers by calling myself a designer, I just think I have a vision of something that I want to do. But God has a special way to teach people through life. I guess I got a little more credit for my second collection than my first, for whatever that is worth. But soon as we started dating, fashion people were really opposed to the idea of reality stars. And all the relationships, the somewhat friends that I had somewhat built up, completely turned their backs on her and me. They already had their back to her, and now they turned it to me. The so-called traction that I was getting in the high-fashion world was completely thrown out the window and I was finally allowed to go to school, where every day I was in my mom [Kris Jenner]’s house, in my little brother’s old room, Rob’s old room, re-tailoring a Céline skirt, re-tailoring a Saint Laurent jacket, re-tailoring a Zara top, re-tailoring Wolford … And day by day by day, [Kim and I] learned, we got better. We looked at the photographs together and she improved my style, we improved each other.
That’s fascinating because a lot of designers don’t work with a woman’s body like that. I think that’s one of the problems with fashion right now, so I find it fascinating that you’re working directly with her.
With the body of all bodies, right?
And a different body than you see in fashion most of the time. That’s what we were talking about with the Adidas collection.
And how do you present that in a way that’s sexy and still dignified. And that’s part of the reason why I work with really strong women, like Vanessa [Beecroft, the artist who staged the Adidas show], that will not allow a woman to even be halfway disrespected. It’s such a far cry from what you would traditionally hear and see in rap. It was a complete new education.
There was that article in The New York Times at the weekend that talked about the lack of diversity in fashion, that there are not many black designers in fashion. Is that something that you think about?
Racism and the focus on racism is a distraction to humanity. It would be like focusing on the cousin from your mom’s side versus the cousin on your dad’s side. We’re all cousins. We’re all the same race. To even focus on the concept of race, it’s like—perhaps people give me an extra cookie for the fact that my color palette is so controlled and I’m black. When someone that’s like, racist, comes up to me at A.P.C. and says, “I thought it would be a bunch of animals on your shirts,” because they heard that I rapped. But it just makes the journey interesting. We came into a broken world. And we’re the cleanup crew. And we’re only cleaning up by helping each other.
I’ve got to ask you just one more question. Did you see the controversy over the last A.P.C. collection from Jean Touitou, where he referenced “In Paris” and he used the N-word in his presentation?
Racism is a distraction to humanity. Jean Touitou is one of the most humane people I know. Jean Touitou had my family have dinner with him every time we came to Paris. And there are a lot of people who own fashion companies who didn’t.