Kanye West is a genius. There is no denying that. Not only has the rapper been able to make his mark in the world of music, but he has also played a pivotal role in the world of fashion.
However, Mr. West is not a happy camper when it comes to his stature within the fashion industry. In fact, over the past few days, the rapper has used the stage at his ever-popular “Yeezus” concerts and a string of recent press appearances to denounce some of the practices that he has observed while trying to break into an industry that does not seem to welcome him with open arms.
This past Monday, in an interview with 92.3 NOW, the 36-year-old rapper denounced Louis Vuitton after being snubbed by the high-end retailer. He later urged consumers to boycott the company.
“Everybody in New York City right now, don’t buy any Louis Vuitton until after January. Now do you wanna meet with me?” Kanye added. “Influence. They think that I don’t realize my power. They want to marginalize me.”
That was not all that the “Blood On the Leaves” rapper had to say. In an interview with Hot 97’s Angie Martinez, he revealed that he had parted ways with Nike after the brand refused to grant him a design facility and royalties from his Yeezus collection. Later on in the interview, he goes on to express his lofty goals.
“I am going to be the Tupac of product. I’m going to be the first hip-hop designer and because of that I’m going to be bigger than Walmart.”
I get it! It all sounds pretty ambitious and I can respect it.
What I do not get is the hypocrisy that seems to be spewing from Ye’s string of thoughts. I also do not understand why he wants so badly to be accepted into an industry that has proven to be racist, uninviting and pretentious?
The fashion industry is not an easy one to break into for anyone. Although many celebrities have created their own lines, there are very few that have been able to transition into the world of high fashion. Celebs such as the Olsen Twins and Katie Holmes were only able to do so successfully after working their way up from commercial lines.
High end fashion is a monster all on its own, often monopolized by the wealthiest of individuals. Kanye is valid in wanting to be able to obtain a larger piece of the pie. However, does he want to be revered as a creative aficionado of fashion, or just a “billionaire?”
Let’s be real, there are people who have been working at developing their craft for years. Just like Kanye and his musical career, there are fashion designers who have worked long and hard to get a seat at the table, often toiling at drawing boards, studying particular design methods and the like.
Kanye needs to stop screaming at journalists, and start to really think about what he truly wants. No, Kanye, you are not entitled to enter the world of high fashion solely because of your influence, and while I know that you have served as an apprentice at some of the largest fashion houses, I hope that you do realize that it is largely due to your high-profile celebrity status.
Lastly, it also does not behoove you to burn bridges left and right by calling out companies for their high prices and then selling a plain white tee that costs $120.00. You have the proper means, influence and talent to do what you want to on your own terms. Stop looking for a further co-sign. Keep giving the fans the “products” that come from your heart; those will be the ones that stand the test of time.
PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram