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.
Kanye West performs in South Africa.
Photo: Getty Images
As is expected with every (extremely rare) Kanye West interview, the latest profile, this time from W Magazine is nowhere near short of grandiose quotables or eyebrow-raisingly candid moments. The piece is littered with Easter eggs for fans of Yeezy and general fashion alike from comparing Christianity to a Ralph Lauren store to mental images of Kanye eating stir-fried vegetables off an Hermes plate. (Keep it 100, Ye.) Most of the fashion community, ourselves included, has been focused on this reveal that "I Am A God" was inspired by an altercation Yeezy had with a major label designer who attempted to keep him from attending any other Fashion Week shows. We agree, that's a major fashion bomb, but there are actually a LOT more of those in this interview if you read carefully.
We're firing up our credit cards this morning as we finally get the chance to cop Kanye West's highly anticipated Yeezus, but thanks to a little leak Friday afternoon, we've been able to preview the tracks (and/or blow out our speakers with them over the weekend) before today's official release. The album is a stark, splintering departure from the lush, sweeping orchestral tendencies of Ye's previous My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, with Yeezus instead riddled with electricity and synth and DRUMS and #yeezyscreams. The new sound is unexpected and may only be immediately welcomed by ride-or-die Yeezy fans, but as far as lyrics go, Kanye brings his knack for storytelling and unflinching wit out full-force per usual.
Yeezus (much like West's accompanying New York Times interview) is rife with quotables, ranging from the acerbic "I'd rather be a d*** than a swallower" on his call-to-action "New Slaves" to the arguably tongue-in-cheek "Hurry up with my damn croissants" off "I Am A God." One thing is for sure, though: there's no shortage of fashion references. Rap Genius may have the most comprehensive unpacking of ALL of Ye's lyrics, but this world is our turf. (In Yeezy's own words, "Don't talk about style 'cause I'll embarrass you.") Thus, we took the liberty of noting every fash-specific line on Yeezus and are decoding them all right here.