Kanye West‘s surprise presentation of YEEZY Season 8 at Paris Fashion Week marked his return to the runway in almost three years, catching everyone off-guard but piquing their interest. The renaissance man reflected on his newest collection in a brief interview, explaining his desire to focus on eccentric shapes, its experimental aspect, his influence and how his spirituality greatly affected his approach to fashion.
“I stopped doing merch, like, four months ago, and then we started working on the opera because I wasn’t pushing myself enough,” West said. “We were doing $1 million [USD] a night in merch — I remember when I first started in fashion and we did the first Kanye collections, everyone kept saying, ‘Just do a T-shirt, The Row started with a T-shirt’ because they had to do this celebrity comparison. And we fought to not do T-shirts, and then I looked up and I was only doing T-shirts. So we stopped, and we started focusing on changing, making new shapes.”
As YEEZY Season 8 alternates between minimal and futuristic, he describes the collection as “experimental,” yet offered with a homemade touch that traces back to the Kardashian-West home in Cody, Wyoming. Ye continued, “The wool will be [from the sheep on my ranch]. We’re just looking at different ways to approach things. 90 percent of this collection is muslin in its original fabric. We’ve been looking at how we can create a suede effect or how we can dye it. This is all experimental. Each one of the pieces here is in its infant stage. They’re all new inventions and new approaches to apparel. Now I’m looking at them and thinking, where I can take them with their colors and forms.”
While his spirituality has created an evident change in his career as a musician, West mentions that it’s provided him with a brand new perspective as a creative as well — from the utilization of clothing down to the presentation of the models, “Now that I’m married, now that I have two daughters, now that I’m saved, I think about the way I use the clothes and the way I present the models, [and] it’s a whole different mentality to have.” He also touches on the collection’s influence on designers, focusing on the variety of footwear and how YEEZY has transformed into one of the most emblematic silhouettes in recent years. “We’ve presented so many things that have influenced color palettes and shapes of shoes, like the shape of the 350s that have become the most iconic shoe of the past 15 years. Now we have these new slides that we’re doing, and you’ll see that these shapes will start to affect other designers,” he said.
Elsewhere in fashion, Burberry has announced a Selfridges Corner pop-up shop.