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Anytime Kanye West and Jon Caramanica speak, the end result is worth multiple reads. The pair recently linked up for a fashion-focused piece for New York Times’ T magazine, and — like many recent Kanye interviews — there’s a lot of quotables. Kanye talks to Caramanica about subjects mainly relating to his fashion world ventures, but he reveals a lot about himself as an “activist,” his family, being a celebrity and more. You can watch behind-the-scenes footage of the interview above, and check out some choice quotes below. To read the full piece, click on over to the NYT page on it.
Kanye on calming down and his issues with ego:
“’I have this table in my new house,’ West said, offering a parable. ‘They put this table in without asking. It was some weird nouveau riche marble table, and I hated it. But it was literally so heavy that it took a crane to move it. We would try to set up different things around it, but it never really worked. I realized that table was my ego. No matter what you put around it, under it, no matter who photographed it, the douchebaggery would always come through.’”
His reasoning behind wearing high-end, luxury items:
“Because the Yeezy collection is sportswear, there were no suits, no tailored trousers or collared shirts. The looks shown at NYFW were a streamlined, democratized version of what West (who has said, of his personal style, ‘I want to dress like a child as much as possible’) usually wears. Lately, that’s often been a velour sweatshirt by Haider Ackermann (retail price: $768), topped with a modified MA-1 bomber jacket by Takahiro Miyashita ($1,778). This is not, West clarifies, the level of affordability he’s striving for in the clothes he’s making. He claims that he’s not wearing luxury for luxury’s sake but rather as a form of research. ‘There’s a transition,’ he says. ‘I need to partake in what’s of value and of quality and soul in order to understand it, in order to give it back.’”
On his role as an “activist”:
“He draws a direct line between the sense of justice he was raised with and his quest to do away with elitism in fashion. ‘I’m not a celebrity, I’m an activist,’ he says. ‘The fact that when I see truth it’s really hard for me to sit back and just allow it to happen in front of me on my clock makes me, a lot of times, a bad celebrity.’”
His recent encounter with Ralph Lauren:
“In a widely circulated photo of the two men meeting, Lauren has placed his hand gently on West’s cheek. ‘Do you know what he said when he did that? ‘This is my son,’ ” West said. ‘And I was thinking, ‘I knew it! I knew Ralph was my daddy!’”