Can it be? Kanye West, the self-proclaimed anti-celebrity, anti-press, anti-everything artist, consented to sit down for a multiple-day interview with New York Times music writer Jon Caramanica? The Q and A was released just a week ahead of the release of his sixth studio album, “Yeezus,” which comes out June 18.
Their entire conversation (which we highly recommend you read in full) is noteworthy, but some of the most interesting aspects of Kanye’s assertions have to do with his views on and, at times, controversial role within the fashion world. We cherry-picked the top 5 things you need to know from Kanye’s complicated relationship with fashion. Check ’em out below!
1. He won’t collaborate with “clothing people” unless they are producing “Christmas presents.”
“I sat down with a clothing guy that I won’t mention, but hopefully if he reads this article, he knows it’s him and knows that out of respect, I didn’t mention his name: this guy, he questioned me before I left his office:, ‘If you’ve done this, this, and this, why haven’t you gone further in fashion?’ And I say, ‘I’m learning.’ But ultimately, this guy that was talking to me doesn’t make Christmas presents, meaning that nobody was asking for his [stuff] as a Christmas present. If you don’t make Christmas presents, meaning making something that’s so emotionally connected to people, don’t talk to me.”
2. He feels regret over his style from five to seven years ago.
“Yeah, kill self. That’s all I have to say. Kill self.”
3. His style now is a reflection of his new, minimalistic musical taste.
“Yeah, visceral, tribal. I’m just trying to cut away all the—you know, it’s even like what we talk about with clothing and fashion, that sometimes all that gets in the way. You even see the way I dress now is so super straight.”
4. He has a rather, um, interesting definition of the concept of luxury in fashion.
“The passion is for humanity. The passion is for people. The passion is for the 18-year-old version of myself. The passion is for the kids at my shows. I need to do more. I need to be able to give people more of what they want that currently is behind a glass. I don’t believe that it’s luxury to go into a store and not be able to afford something. I believe luxury is to be able to go into a store and be able to afford something.”
5. Kanye thinks he’s the Steve Jobs of fashion, culture, and everything else.
“Yeah, respect my trendsetting abilities. Once that happens, everyone wins. The world wins; fresh kids win; creatives win; the company wins. I think what Kanye West is going to mean is something similar to what Steve Jobs means. I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of Internet, downtown, fashion, culture. Period. By a long jump. I honestly feel that because Steve has passed, you know, it’s like when Biggie passed and Jay-Z was allowed to become Jay-Z.”