Kanye West: I refuse people who write me off as some rich kid taking a hobby


Rapper, super producer and artist Kanye West is well accomplished and respected in the music industry. In his career, West has been nominated for 369 awards, having won 92 of them, including 21 Grammys. But West doesn’t find success in his many accomplishments. The Grammy award-winning artist did a new interview discussing his frustrations with the fashion industry and not being taking serious as a designer. West, who has a honorary Ph.D. in Art, used movies “Wreck-It Ralph”, “Despicable Me”, “Elf” and “The Pursuit of Happiness” to get his point across about how he believes the fashion industry makes him feel as a designer. Checkout the interview excerpt below.

On when he first got in to fashion:

Yeah, like five years old. I just liked picking out my own outfit for kindergarten. Now my daughter definitely picks out her own outfits and she will lay it down and look at it and say, ‘This is not great.’

On teaching himself about fashion:

Like just my mom being in a fur store and me picking one and saying, ‘I like this one mom,’ and her looking at the price and it being the most expensive one. So, I think that’s where I got the expensive taste from.

And now, after having expensive taste – you know, going from expensive taste to just taste and learning the languages, the communication and where the decisions come from and then digging into something deeper that I am now able to communicate with my apparel that’s different than anything else out there.

Going from artist to designer:

I remember I did this collection with A.P.C., with [founder] Jean Touitou, and there were people who came to see it and said, ‘I thought you were going to have a bunch of graphics on your stuff’ and they just try to pinpoint what they expect from you as a musician and they almost come over to look more as a joke than to take it seriously.

On his deal with Adidas:

[Yeezy] is one of the leading trendsetting brands now; like top four trendsetting brands. And, and that’s with little to no support on the apparel side. Meaning, I went and did a deal with Adidas and I basically still had to do the apparel in L.A. and build my own atelier and get consultants and build a team.On entering the fashion industry:

Have you ever seen, Wreck-It Ralph? Okay, so you know when Penelope puts together her car? And she’s  like, ‘Made it myself,’ and everybody that has professional cars, they say, ‘Look at you with your little car and you’re going to do this,’ and then they break her car, right? That’s basically the fashion world to me.

On fashion being just a hobby to another rapper:

I refuse people who write me off as some rich kid taking a hobby, fashion as a f*cking hobby or a fashion plate. How could you even dare to think that, that you’re on the same level of this, blah, blah, blah? And the entire time, no one, um – very few people even knew that I have a f*cking Ph.D. in art, you know?

And not that that would even make the difference, but me saying that makes the difference to the exact people I’m talking to it’s, like, shut the f*ck up. I will f*cking laser you with alien f*cking eyes and explode your f*cking head. Shut the f*ck up – try to write a rap.

On how it was meeting with top fashion execs:

Have you ever seen The Pursuit of Happiness? Do you know when he was trying to sell the bone density machines? That was like me meeting with the head of [the fashion manufacturing and licensing company] Staff International and I’m like showing him things that I think can, could be considered to be a breakthrough thing, ‘Like, look at these, you know?’

On his deal with Giuseppe Zanotti making him feel like McGrew from “Despicable Me”:

‘Hey mom, I built this rocket ship.’ Whatever. That’s how it is. I’m talking to a guy who’s the head of a production facility [Staff International] but a really good one because they do [Maison] Margiela and all that and I’m like, ‘Look, I built this rocket ship.’ You know, it’s like I built this amount of followers, we did this certain color palette, we did this, blah, blah, blah.

That I designed this, you know, the cool summer shoe with [Giuseppe] Zanotti, and it’s this top-selling shoe. Or I did this shoe with Nike and it was their top-selling shoe and these guys will just look and be like, ‘No,’ but they didn’t realize, like Penelope, she’s like, ‘I won a race just like you guys.’

On how he wants to bring joy to the fashion world like Will Ferrell in “Elf”:

Not just so he could play with them, but he wants to bring joy to the world. I am a creator and it’s my responsibility. There is no amount of money, like as I tell my managers right now, ‘What is your opinion of success?’ So many people look at success is just like having money.

True, not having money can be a sign of a lack of success and also can deter you from being successful at other things that you do, but if you take guys like LVMH and like Kering, they might only have two or three businesses that are actually profitable and they all work together, but they are successful at taking brands that mean something to people.

On the fear of failing:

Hey, you’re gonna fall sometimes in a run for greatness.

On where he gets his inspiration from:

I’m inspired by Walt Disney. I’m inspired by Howard Hughes. I’m inspired by Henry Ford. I’m inspired by Steve Jobs. I mean, I’m inspired by James Perse. I’m inspired by Calvin, I’m inspired by Ralph [Lauren], I’m inspired by Bernard Arnault. He’s like one of my absolute favorites.

By –@OctaviaNakia

Authored by: Kellie Williams