As often as Kanye West is in the headlines, there’s so much we still don’t know about him.
In a new profile from The New York Times, writer Jon Caramanica got a chance to sit-down with Ye and get a sense of where he’s heading in the fashion world. We all know it hasn’t been easy for Yeezy to crossover into the world of high-fashion, but the profile shows just how much of a toll it’s taken and, maybe more pressingly, how badly he wants to reinvigorate fashion with his own stylings.
Here are some of the standout Kanye quotes from the interview, from musings on consumerism—”people would use a rack of CDs to show class”— to his lifelong dream of running a boutique.
Get to know Kanye the fashion designer in his own words below.
1. “I have this table in my new house. They put this table in without asking. It was some weird nouveau riche marble table, and I hated it. But it was literally so heavy that it took a crane to move it. We would try to set up different things around it, but it never really worked. I realized that table was my ego. No matter what you put around it, under it, no matter who photographed it, the douchebaggery would always come through.”
2. “It’s literally like . . . I know this is really harsh, but it’s like Before Yeezy and After Yeezy,” West said of the import of his place in fashion. “This is the new Rome!”
3. “Before the Internet, music was really expensive. People would use a rack of CDs to show class, to show they had made it. Right now, people use clothes to telegraph that. I want to destroy that. The very thing that supposedly made me special — the jacket that no one could get, the direct communications with the designers — I want to give that to the world.”
4. “I dreamed, since I was a little kid, of having my own store where I could curate every shoe, sweatshirt and color. I have sketches of it. I cried over the idea of having my own store.”
5. “I’m not a celebrity, I’m an activist. The fact that when I see truth it’s really hard for me to sit back and just allow it to happen in front of me on my clock makes me, a lot of times, a bad celebrity.”
6. “I feel like now I have an amazing wife, a supersmart child and the opportunity to create in two major fields. Before I had those outlets, my ego was all I had.”
7. “I would like to be influenced as much as possible. I don’t care if you can see the influence in something, as long as I made it better.”
8. [On meeting Ralph Lauren, his idol…] “Do you know what he said when he did that? ‘This is my son.’ And I was thinking, ‘I knew it! I knew Ralph was my daddy!’”
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