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Kanye West's Clothing Line Is Finally Happening. Is Rihanna To Thank?

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Kanye West attends the Givenchy Menswear Spring/Summer 2012 show as part of Paris fashion week.
Kanye West attends the Givenchy Menswear Spring/Summer 2012 show as part of Paris fashion week.

Diehard fashion devotee Kanye West has long threatened to make his own mark on the industry with a clothing line of his own, and after many starts and stops, it seems his sartorial dreams are finally being realized, the Guardian reports. We might see the fruits of his labors sooner than later, possibly even in time for New York Fashion Week's Spring 2012 season, which presents in September. What's more: he has a surprise collaborator in the form of British cult womenswear designer, Louise Goldin. What led to this inspired union of strongminded talents? Possibly none other than West's pal Rihanna,  whose penchant for avant-garde designs, particularly Goldin's, is well-noted.

Recent rumors suggested that West sought enrollment within Central St. Martins, the elite London art school whose illustrious alumni include everyone from M.I.A. to designer Gareth Pugh. Louise Wilson, St. Martin's director of MA fashion design, clarifed West's fashion plans. He won't be attending St. Martins, Wilson tells the Guardian, but that's because he's never applied. "But I suspect he would like to," she adds.

What she can confirm: the rapper-turned-mogul is indeed developing a collaboration with Goldin (one of her former design pupils). The duo have set up shop in Goldin's London studio, but will likely launch their debut collection together Stateside at New York's upcoming Fashion Week. As Goldin has vocalized a desire to relocate to New York City for work, this partnership seems destined to suit both parties very well.

The label's aesthetic remains to be seen, but given Goldin's legacy of producing unusual, boldly printed architectural knitwear and West's love of the fashion fringe (among his favorite labels: Rick Owens, Raf Simons, Balenciaga, Rodarte), we can expect something a bit edgier than your typical celebrity clothing line.

Wilson agrees naysayers and skeptics should hold their tongues. "I warn against dismissing it in haste. " she says. "There are those who might assume Louise will be doing all the work and Kanye is just the face, I don't believe this will be the case – he researches thoroughly and is hands on and committed to his work."

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