Sunday, October 1, 2023

Kanye West Talks His A/W’15 Adidas Originals Collection & His Love-Hate Relationship with Fashion

While we at SPICE have been focused on our ‘love of fashion’ here on the site this month, rapper Kanye West, who debuted his Adidas Originals collection last week at New York Fashion Week, has been talking about his own love of the industry, the negativity he’s faced since becoming a part of it and dressing Kim Kardashian, alluding to a complete career change by telling;

“One of my dreams was to be the head creative director of the Gap. I’d like to be the Steve Jobs of the Gap… I’m talking about full Hedi Slimane creative control of the Gap is what I would like to do.”

A look from Kanye's Autumn/Winter'15 collection, showcased last week during New York Fashion Week
A look from Kanye’s Autumn/Winter’15 collection, showcased last week during New York Fashion Week

Commenting in the only way he knows how – candidly – about how for “18 years” he’s been hoping to move into the industry, Kanye admits that while he’d been working hard under the radar to progress in fashion, his pace was slowed by being with his wife, Kim Kardashian, who he calls “the body of all bodies;”

“She was always my muse, now she’s become other designers’ muses. 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.

Kim Kardashion in a look from Kanye's new collection, which she wore to his showcase on February 12th 2015

Kim Kardashion in a look from Kanye’s new collection, which she wore to his showcase on February 12th 2015

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 improved each other.”

ANother look from Mr West's Autumn/Winter'15 range
Another look from Mr West’s Autumn/Winter’15 range

His latest collection with Adidas comes following his collaborative efforts with A.P.C last year, and has received mixed reviews so far from the fashion crowd – a recent blow this week coming from New York Fashion Week creator Fern Mallis, who told Page Six;

“I’m kind of over Kanye. I mean, I’m not a fan of his music, and the attitude and the agenda is not my style.”

The comment lead to Mr West, who sent his “army” of models of all sizes down the ramp in unlabelled garments that included bomber jackets and minimal looks with sheer details, responding on Twitter, saying;

“To Fern Mallis: I just want you to understand that attempting to do clothing has been very difficult. And I have encountered countless amounts of bigotry along the way.

I have millions of ideas, and I represent a new generation just trying to express themselves in a broken world.”

“I don’t call myself a designer as I was not allowed to go to Saint Martins – because I was too famous by the time I realized I wanted to design.”

Camouflage also made an appearance in Kanye's new Adidas Originals collection
Camouflage also made an appearance in Kanye’s new Adidas Originals collection

Further confirming his strides into the industry have been a long time coming, Kanye explains his decision to finally move into fashion came when;

“I went to my grandfather’s funeral and my cousin stood up and told this story about how he won best-dressed in high school because his mom was a tailor. And I looked to the left of me and the lady was just as – and I hate this word – but just as chic …  I looked at the entire funeral and I said to myself, ‘This looks just as good, if not better, than fashion shows that I go to in Paris.’

And I realized that it had all been a scam, that it had all been smoke and mirrors to present this concept that a straight black guy out of Chicago that’s a rapper, that’s married to a reality star, could somehow not design a coat, that can’t design a T-shirt, that can’t have enough of an opinion.

You know, it’s like voting. Fashion is merely an opinion. And I’ve got a lot of opinions.”

One of the rapper's model "army" members
One of the rapper’s model “army” members

On the Autumn/Winter collection itself, Kanye explained to that his influences came from;

“…Problems that me and my wife and my friends face. I sit with a group of problem solvers and say, ‘In this situation, I would like to have this.’

Also, workwear, utility, the idea of being a dad, no time to look in the mirror because I’m looking at my daughter, I’m looking at my wife. And I’ve got to take her to dance class.”

– adding that;

“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 had a heartfelt discussion with my Tumblr.”

Kanye West on the catwalk at his showcase
Kanye West on the catwalk at his showcase

Despite the negative feedback ‘Ye faces from the industry he seems to have a love-hate relationship with, the rapper, who is also inspired by Helmut Lang, Martin Margiela and Vanessa Beecroft, aims to have “brick-and-mortar” (his own store) someday, saying;

“I’m only concerned with making beautiful products available to as many people as possible …  I think high fashion is about elitism and separation, and I am completely opposed to that [but] I’ll still go to crash the Saint Laurent fashion show so I can be closer to the genius that Hedi [Slimane] has, even if the prices aren’t genius, even though the prices are completely unfair.”

See some of Kanye West’s Autumn/Winter’15 collection here and then tell us if you think the criticism on it so far have been fair – as well as which pieces from the range you’d wear next season – in the comments box, below;

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