Following last week’s inaugural Kanye West x adidas fashion show, Kanye sat down with Dirk Standen, Editor-in-Chief of Style.com for an in-depth interview. During their time together, Kanye shared the origins of his adidas merger, coupled with his mindset and thoughts on the current state of fashion. The self-described visionary (in lieu of ”disrespecting designers by calling myself a designer”) expresses his gratitude towards adidas for fostering his creativity by encouraging him to find solutions within a set boundary, before praising the sportswear conglomerate as “the perfect place to be.” In discussing the actual show, Mr. West unveils his thought process behind a variety of intricate details, such as model casting, the questionable necessity of the opening voice over monologue, and whether he plans on reading published show critiques. Key outtakes from the informative sit-down have been reproduced below for your convenience. The full transcript can be read on Style.com.
It’s quite daring to keep clothes that simple. Nearly every designer over-embellishes and over-designs, and then people don’t actually want to wear the clothes.
I wouldn’t consider myself to be a designer in that way, I just want to propose a solution to 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.” And then from my art background—from my heart background—I have a perspective on color that I’ve always wanted to get across. What I thought was interesting was taking a red and doing it in a sports bra, and as opposed to the usual super-techy fabrics that people use for gym clothes, to really have more of a dry approach to the gym clothes. Even with the way we took Adidas socks and turned them into sports bras. It’s like, “What is almost like Alaïa that you can sweat in?” A sock! And it had to only be the sports bra because it looked really funny once [it] started going into the biking shorts. I tried that and that didn’t come out so well.
We can talk about the staging. First of all, I have to ask you about the wait. People did have to wait a long time outside. Is this something that you would have done differently in retrospect?
Yeah, I apologize that people had to wait. That’s definitely not something I did on purpose. I actually had no idea what time it was. I wasn’t looking at the clock or in charge of that. It’s literally my first proposition in three years. So I apologize for the wait, to the people that had to actually wait at the New York fashion show. I apologize to the kids that had to wait in the 42 theaters where we streamed the show across the globe, I apologize to them for the wait. Let me just explain something to everyone. I’m sorry. I’m a human being. I’ve got opinions, I’m not always right, I’m not always on time, I don’t always say things in the proper way, but my intentions are always extremely pure. My purpose is extremely just.
That’s true. So, tell me about the clothes. I think you said you started working on the collection 18 months ago?
I started 18 years ago. I mean, if we’re talking about the wait, what about my wait? These photographs right here that I’m showing you of these garments and how they’ve been presented, in my opinion are equal to any—not equal to Miuccia [Prada], but equal to a lot of things that are considered to be high-end. What else do you want from me? It’s hard, it’s hard for everyone, and it was a thousand times harder for me. I’m not trying to, you know—I didn’t even want to focus on any of the issues that I’ve already said, it’s like, just listen to the old interviews, and anyone that is more offended by the words that I said at the beginning than inspired, you know, I’m the spark. It’s up to people to be oil or water. If you’re water, your life’s already over. If you’re oil, like the age of the kids that were standing there, you’ll probably be sparked and do something really dynamic in life.
So the sneakers sold out, 9,000 pairs, but the clothes—are they going to be limited edition?
I hate the concept of limited edition completely. I hate the concept of separatism. Elitism. Classism. We’re all equal. The only thing that’s valuable is time. It’s the only thing we can’t get back. The only luxury is time. Let’s stop playing games with each other and let’s start helping each other. If someone really feels that there’s something that I can improve on, do like Pat McGrath and come to the fucking show and help me. Do like Vanessa Beecroft and come and help me. Because I’m not here for this to be about me. I’m here to help people. I’m here to help the 14-year-old version of myself that couldn’t afford shit.
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