Kanye West Explains His Fashion Obsession to Jimmy Kimmel

"I want to make the next Ralph Lauren."

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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After Kanye West's rampage on Jimmy Kimmel for insulting his interview with BBCOne'sZaneLowe, we never thought the two would talk again. But luckily, they put their greivances aside, and Kanye's appearance onJimmy Kimmel Live! was another amazingly entertaining and informative interview in which Kanye went off on his fashion aspirations and why he hasn't been able to yet break down the walls to gain entry into what he says is a world full of "snobbery" and classism. 

To break the ice, Kimmel asked Kanye a simple question: "What are you wearing?"

Kanye responded with a simple statement as he brushed his hand up and down his blue henley, saying, "Uh, it's Ralph."

Kimmel went on to Kanye's icy grill that covered his bottom row of teeth. "Is that a new grill?" he asked Kanye. "Nah, I've had it for three years," Kanye responded.

...who do you know more for clothes than me?

At this point, the conversation about Kanye's fashion and cutural goals was only at the tip of the iceberg. After going to break, he spoke on how he's always been obsessed with "cool stuff," showcasing this with the fact that he saved up two paychecks when he was 18-years-old for a pair of Gucci slippers, and how it was tough growing up without the aid of fast-fashion retailers such as H&M and Zara.

Later, in an apparent olive branch to placate Kanye, and the dopest olive branch we've ever seen, Kimmel broke out a pair of pint-sized leather joggers, intended for Kanye's newborn daughter, North.

"There's such a thing as leather jogging pants," Kimmel said as he pulled out the minitaure pants. "Here's a pair of leather jogging pants."

When Kimmel said he just didn't see the practicality in leather jogging pants, this seemed to set Kanye off into a sartorial stream of conscious. "Fashion isn't practical, it's more about emotion, it's more about swag, it's more about fucking, it's more about club. It's more about style." he said.

He then went onto to talk about how he and Virgil Abloh, who he referenced as part of Hood By Air, Been Trill, and Pyrex, were interns at Fendi and when they presented the idea of leather jogging pants, it was shot down by higher-ups. Kanye then explained to Kimmel and his audience about the leather jogging pants phenomenon, and how it's crazy that people have made their whole living off leather jogging pants, an idea Kanye claims he and Abloh had six years ago.

I want to make the next Ralph Lauren.

Kanye, who aired out Hedi Slimane of Saint Laurent in the recent Zane Lowe interview, claims the designer then told him he shouldn't give his ideas away. But for Kanye, he couldn't stop. He believes his ideas mean something, and that finding the "proper production around them" is what's holding them back.

To Ye, the production of designing his Yeezys or LouisVuitton sneakers is "at the same level as the production on [his] CD." 

Yet he still doesn't feel respected in the fashion world, though. "When I make a T-shirt, and call it the "Kanye," people are gonna think, "What's genius about this?"

All we want to do is make awesome stuff. All we want is a real shot.

So what's preventing his ideas on fashion from getting the same level of attention and interest that would lead to the proper infrastructure, operations, and production that the Yeezys got? Kanye says, "currently in fashion, and the way the fashion world works, I mean there's no black guy at the end of the runway in Paris, in all honesty. And that's what I was talking about when The Truman Show hit the boat."

The tension was then cut when Kimmel asked him about the Steve Havrey Collection, which got a good chuckle out of Kanye. But he wasn't done explaining why, no matter how hard he tries, and how much his ideas resonate with consumers, he can't break into the upper-crust world of fashion insiders.


Suppsedly, Kaney's met with all the right people, including "Andrew Rosen of Theory, this guy over here, this guy that runs this company, Li & Fung... These are the real people that produce the clothes that are on your back. Zara, out there with Ortega of H&M, I mean Francois Pinault, everyone."

And yet he can't get their acceptance or belief that he has ideas that will reverberate in the fashion world, saying "everyone kind of just looks at you like you're crazy, and like, you dont crash the Internet," referring to his A.P.C. collaboration that shut down the e-commerce site after massive traffic jammed up the pipes.

Kanye continued to make his case, stating, "All we want to do is make awesome stuff. All we want is a real shot. Not, 'Okay, I'm a celebrity, so that means my line has to cost $10 a T-shirt.' No, I understand about quality. I understand about fabrics. I spent 10,000 hours at this. I dedicated my life to this."

And in case you're confused exactly what it is Kanye is doing talking about fashion on all these interviews and what his end goal is, he closes the interview saying, "I'm gonna use my platform, every platform, to stand up and say, 'I want to make something. I want to make the next Ralph Lauren.'"

According to Kanye in this interview and others, him being pigeonholed as a genius musician isn't enough. He sees himself more as a pure ideas-driven person who can't get the backers and believers to transform ideas into tangible product because they see him as a hip-hop artist, or as someone who represents a class of people that may not belong in the pristine Fashion Houses of the old world. But as he said in the BBC One intervew, "we are culture," and it'd be quite foolish of this oligarchical walled-in world to ignore the pounding at the gates and remain inward-facing.

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