Nearly lost in Kanye West‘s claustrophobic SNL 40 performance, his surprise appearance alongside Drake and the debut of his new song “Wolves” is the main reason why the rapper was in Manhattan in the first place: The debut of his Adidas Originals collection. After his line finished on the New York Fashion Week runway, West sat down with Style.com to discuss his influences, his approach to reviews and his ultimate fashion goal.
“One of my dreams was to be the head creative director of The Gap. I’d like to be the Steve Jobs of The Gap,” the rapper proclaimed. However, the best exchange in the interview – which is devoted entirely to West’s fashion line; there isn’t even a whisper of new album talk – comes when Style.com asks Kanye about his influences.
“You guys know my fucking influences. I’ve got four influences and it’s written all over the face, you know the combination. Just as much as Drake is influenced by Kanye West, you know my fucking influences,” the rapper said before listing off Helmut Lang, Margiela and others. “It’s blatantly right there. I’m not going to try and act like I was influenced by a fucking dog walking down the street that broke its ankle that I had a heartfelt discussion with. I had a heartfelt discussion with all of these fucking Helmut Lang images that I stared at for so many years. I had a heartfelt discussion with my Tumblr.”
Reviews of West’s first Adidas line have so far been less than glowing, with The Cut and Bloomberg especially critical of his designs. However, that’s not fazing the Yeezus rapper. “I don’t read the reviews, because it’s some kind of backhanded compliment or something focusing on not the main point. It was really difficult to do this. It would be difficult to make a proposition this simple for any designer. So many people told me that it had to have logos or it had to have this, but I fought for exactly what I wanted in my closet,” West said, adding that his line is the vision of his team and not just one man.
“I’ve got an army behind me, so unless the reviewer is recognizing the army, they’re not recognizing the tank coming,” West said. “I mean, I don’t know if people felt this, but it’s too late. Like the Drake album says, if you’re reading this, it’s already too late. If you’re seeing this, it’s already too late.”
West did admit that the first run of his Adidas line are “not as cheap as I would like it to be” – specifically that camo jacket – but he hopes to get the clothes “super-inexpensive” enough so that anyone could afford them. “A major influence was the London riots,” West said. “I was living in London at that time and saw the way that the kids wanted the clothes and I didn’t have the skill set to do the more inexpensive clothes.”