Yesterday afternoon, Kanye West kept fashion media on edge by tweeting: “I appreciate everyone’s support for my clothing line but I wanted to clarify a few things…” He finally followed up at 5 a.m. London time (his dreams kept him awake, he said) and did, indeed, clarify some things while opening questions about many others (including the buzzword of the week: DONDA). As is customary with the rapper’s late-night Twitter speeches, there was quite a scattershot range of themes and quotability, and Rolling Stone catches some of the highlights here.
Meanwhile, the fashion community learned the following:
• The entire industry has been getting the name of his clothing line wrong for months. “The name of the line is Kanye West, not DW,” Kanye tweeted just before midnight. “The DW was a design element placed on the invite in homage to my mom.” Amazingly, despite his hiring of the Karla Otto agency, a PR giant, to handle invites and the accompanying press handlings for his Spring 2012 debut at Paris Fashion Week, this misconception is only being addressed now.
• The DW Twitter page, now suspended, is fake. “I really appreciate the fake DW twitter page but since it’s not official I can’t cosign any information on it,” said the rapper.
• As he has emphasized in the past, he currently has no investors for his clothing line. “I did the first fashion show out of my own pocket and used the money I made touring to follow my passion.”
• His working relationship with fashion goes back eight years, apparently. From streetwear offers he turned down to being rejected himself by “BAPE” (A Bathing Ape) to moving to Japan for a month to design in solitude, the journey to his current style-maker status has been a long and convoluted one, indeed.
• He’s done under-the-radar work (read: consulting) at Fendi and Giuseppe Zanotti while still under a two-year contract at Louis Vuitton, for whom he did some sneaker customizations in 2009. He also turned down a position at Versace during that time frame.
• He moved to Paris in early 2011 to start work on his own line. He remains mystified by VAT numbers, explaining that this, plus the “language barrier,” made the transition to the French fashion lifestyle rather difficult. But on the bright side: heroic design icon Azzedine Alaïa visited him in his “embarrassingly” Colette-facing studio one day.
• His mother remains his biggest style inspiration. Over the course of several tweets, he reminisced over his childhood memories of her taking him fur shopping. “I knew about my woman’s clothing was what my Mom would wear. I guess some critics would joke that I still don’t know anything LOL,” he tweeted, verbatim, in a rare fit of humility.
From there, his tweets continued on for another two hours and became increasingly fractured and grandiose. But it seems Kanye’s fashion line, and general aesthetic quests thus far, have merely been a test drive for something much greater: DONDA, an astonishing 22-tier creative laboratory named for his late mother that he envisions revolutionizing every aspect of our lives. You can read more about it from Kanye’s twitter directly or, better yet, simply email contactDONDA@gmail.com with your resume today.