We’ve got to hand it to Ye. After a year’s worth of fashion rants (will we ever forget the leather jogging pant?) and one abbreviated overpriced collection for A.P.C., Kanye West is finally living up to his design aspirations. Maybe all of those monologues are just part of his creative process? His second effort for the French brand A.P.C., which was announced on the low last December, just debuted at Paris Fashion Week and it’s full of #dopeness. Kanye’s personality is stamped all over it, from the double-denim looks—and one with a flag-like cape that could have hung in the Yeezus pop-up—to the moody zipper-stitched parkas paired with parachute pants, Timberlands, and balaclavas. For every dark look, there was a suited counterpart, styled with glasses and jackets worn as capes.
But did you really expect Kanye would deliver a collection without a monologue? Think again! After revealing that the collection was inspired by “paint colors” and his idea of the modern family—"It's about what is the new family—it's like me, Kim and North”—Kanye went innnnnn on the industry’s refusal to take him seriously: “Every factory I go to, every time I sit down and talk about it, it’s like whether I’m talking about clothes from the hip-hop side of things or talking about clothes with someone that is in the fashion industry to not have a prejudice against the U-shaped curve of success in your field.”
Kanye West was full of fashion-centric quotables this year.
Photo: Getty Images
Aside from the birth of his first child, an epically romantic proposal to girlfriend/baby mama Kim Kardashian, and releasing one of the most critically debated albums of the year, which was then accompanied by a massive, production-heavy national tour, 2013 was kinda quiet for Kanye West, amirite?? I mean, like, we BARELY heard a peep outta the guy! *pauses for effect, then busts up in belly laughs* NAAAHHHHTTTTT. If anything, we've never heard so much of Yeezy. Especially on the topic of fashion.
Ye's year-long commentary on/battle with the fashion industry has kept us busy for the duration of 2013. Between lyrics likening his experience putting together his own line to picking cotton and others that publicly acknowledge Forever 21, Mr. West gave his
2 infinity cents on the subject of style, and we've distilled the stand-outs.
Kanye West in his Yeezus Tour merch.
Photos: Splash News/Getty Images
Who'd have thought Kanye West would be the biggest fan of his own Yeezus Tour merch? He's normally so humble about his work... JK JK! Just last week, he told us how "[he's] the number one, most influential person on the globe in fashion." So it's only fitting that 'Ye would model his own wares and show just how fresh" his Yeezus product really is.
A few days into the tour, there was a photo of Kanye wearing a T-shirt with a picture of Kim Kardashian on it, across which Yeezus was written. While that particular tee may have been a Kanye West exclusive (limited-edition, 1:1 HANH?!) because it hasn't been released yet, there are other options being sold on tour and in his LA pop-up shop.
Though he's yet to wear his PacSun gear, he has been spotted in one of the Wes Lang-illustrated joints featuring the Grim Reaper holding a bouquet of flowers, as well as a printed "Yeezus Tour" sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off (who doesn't love a remix?). He must really love the way it all looks with destroyed jeans (the same ones he wore on Jimmy Kimmel), since that's proved to be his go-to pairing. The repeated look (a rarity for the fashion plate) doesn't stop there: he's also worn his controversial, stars-and-bars, Confederate jacket twice (and counting).
Kanye West drops by 97.1 AMP for an interview.
Photo: 97.1 AMP Radio
You can pretty much call it a universal truth now: any time you give Kanye West a microphone, you're guaranteed to get at least one quote that will spark up further conversation (more like ten quotes that instigate a chorus of psychoanalytical think-pieces, but when it comes to numbers, we like to keep things conservative around here). Or in his own words, "every time I talk, there's a crack in the matrix." Such was the case when Yeezy stopped by L.A.'s 97.1 AMP to chat about his Yeezus tour merch, his recent engagement to Kim Kardashian, and, as always, beauty, truth, and awesomeness. We've pulled out our favorite Easter eggs from his interview (previously unconfirmed designs!!!!!!) and are adding a little bit of context for the uninitiated in the wonderful world of Kanye West fashion.
Hold on to your Margiela masks, boys and girls. This style-drenched Yeezus tour is only just getting started. And we're not just talking about the performances themselves; we're talking about the outfits, the merchandise, the freestyle speeches, each and every part lovingly touched by Kanye's fashionable hands. And rest assured, Ye is not keeping the essence of Yeezus confined to the stadiums or his mountain-covered stage. You may remember that late last week he took some special edition t-shirt designs to PacSun. Well, now, he's opened his very own Yeezus tour pop-up shop in Los Angeles (right next to fiancé Kimmy K's DASH).
Kanye West on "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
Photo: ABC/Jimmy Kimmel Live
I would track the events leading up to Kanye West's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live for you, but then, I'd be here writing the biography of Mr. West and all you really want is more context for the things he said last night. More recently, the Kanye x Kimmel chat can be traced back to the revealing interview Ye had with BBC 1 Radio's Zane Lowe wherein he spoke very candidly about classism in the fashion community, his qualifications as a designer, and how he and Virgil Abloh had the idea for leather jogging pants 6 years ago but were turned down by Fendi. It was impassioned, it was classic Kanye, and it made its way into a Jimmy Kimmel sketch which had kids reenact the interview, bleeps and all.
Welp, Ye didn't find it funny and later took to Twitter to let out his frustrations with Kimmel and the spoof. The tweets (which incidentally revealed that Yeezy is preeeeetty gifted in the ways of Meme Generator) have since been deleted, and the two sat down last night to publicly talk it all out and make nice. As with any time you give Kanye an open platform, the conversation was rife with quotables (shouts to our friends at Buzzworthy for putting them all on t-shirts because duh), but it was also littered with some pretty serious fashion subtext. Thus, we're giving Ye's best fashion quotes a closer look.
Kanye West is probably (definitely) talking about fashion in this still from his BBC Radio 1 interview with Zane Lowe.
Photo: BBC Radio 1
KANYE WEST LOVES #FASHUN. You may have gathered this if 1.) You are a fan or 2.) Decided to tune into his interview with Zane Lowe last night. In fact, West talked mostly about fashion, which made us feel many feelings. Here, as told by GIFs, are some of the feelings we felt. (BTW, you can listen to the full interview here. Or watch it below.)
ON THE BIRTH OF LEATHER JOGGING PANTS
"I brought 10 years of product that has added to humanity. And now, where's the culture at?! So then, I scream, and I'm sitting in the middle of it. Whether I'm at a dinner with Anna Wintour, or I'm at a listening session with Pusha, or me and Virgil are in Rome giving designs to Fendi over and over and getting our designs knocked down. We brought the leather jogging pants six years ago to Fendi, and they said, 'No.' How many m************ you done seen with a jogging pant?"
Could Kanye be working on another larger fashion project?
Photo: Getty Images
He's designed for ladies. He's designed for dudes. Now, it's rumored that Kanye West is designed for BOTH at the same time. Buried in a story with the headline, "Kanye West back in LA with Kim K," New York Post reports that Yeezus "is now prepping a unisex collection of about 100 pieces, we hear, to be revealed during the fall fashion shows." Say whaaaaaa? I mean, we definitely wouldn't be surprised to hear Ye's on to his next fashion project. For a dude who's penned the lyrics, "Don't talk about style, I'll embarrass you," that just seems an inevitable truth, no? But 100 unisex pieces? How is that even possible?
Kanye West in his capsule collection for A.P.C.
After months of accelerated hype, this past weekend we were finally able to set eyes on Kanye West's capsule collection for A.P.C. As promised when the French fashion house officially confirmed the high profile collaboration last week, the collection hit A.P.C.'s international web stores yesterday morning. In line with the descriptions from Ye's W magazine interview, Yeezy and A.P.C. founder Jean Touitou created a concise range of one short-sleeved sweatshirt, one long-sleeved sweatshirt in blue and dark navy, one t-shirt in navy and white, and one pair of jeans in stonewash and indigo.
The first look at A.P.C.Kanye.
Like clockwork, July has rolled around, and accordingly, so has the official confirmation of that long-time rumored Kanye West x A.P.C. collaboration. Brace yourself for a bit of shameless gloating coming from this direction of the interwebz, but we've been tugging your ears (or eyes?) about this for MONTHS. Let's rehash the timeline, shall we? First, A.P.C. founder Jean Touitou mentioned in an interview with GQ (February 2012) that he and Yeezy had "wanted to do something related to clothes that's not high fashion, probably something more sporty," and while "it's mentally in the pipeline" for Touitou, he recognizes "it's just hard to get the guy out of a plane." Several months later (December 2012), Touitou tweeted a photo of the two huddled around a laptop in a black tiled room, presented without comment. Given what we know about Touitou having a recording studio at A.P.C. HQ and Ye's fashion design itch, we assumed they must be collaborating on something. Whether they were working on music or clothes was up in the air (also, for the record, we didn't rule out that they could have been YouTubing cat videos), but those GQ quotes suggested a range of garments ready to be worn IRL.