kanye west still wants to be president, and make beautiful yoga pants

Yeezus talks 'Swish,' stores and sweatshirts in a revealing new interview. Here's your 10-point guide to the Vanity Fair tell all.

by Emily Manning
24 September 2015, 9:10pm

In an exclusive interview with Vanity Fair, the rapper-cum-designer Kanye West opened up to Dirk Standen about fashion, family, and politics. The interview is certainly one of West's most quotable (personal favorite is a tie between: "A lot of times I feel like Will Ferrell in the movie Elf. You know this big guy that wants to [join in] and his hands are a little bit too big," and "Sweatshirts are fucking important.") But it's also one of the rapper's most enlightening. The full text is well worth the read, but here's a 10-point breakdown: 

Yeezy presentations are not political: Discussing Yeezy Season 2's Vanessa Beecroft-orchestrated performance component -- in which, Standen noted, a group of "very blonde people in beige tones" transitioned into a sea of brown models -- Standen asked the question many have pondered since first hearing those roll call commands: was this presentation politically motivated? The future Presidential candidate's surprising answer: no. "It had nothing to do with race. It was only colors of human beings and the way these palettes of people work together and really just stressing the importance of color, the importance of that to our sanity, these Zen, monochrome palettes," West insisted. "I want it to become more of a moving painting than a political statement or a fashion statement."

The subject of politics did arise, however, in the form of West's Presidential plan: The rapper assured he's still planning on keeping his VMA promise. And his campaign strategy seems quite similar to his musical one: collaborate. "When I run for president, I'd prefer not to run against someone. I would be like 'I want to work with you,'" said West. "I think all the people running right now have something that each of the others needs. But the idea of this separation and this gladiator battle takes away from the main focus that the world needs help and the world needs all the people in a position of power or influence to come together."

Stores are coming: Hell-bent on giving voracious hypebeasts a new place to camp for 72-hour stints, West promised to one day open the store of his dreams. "I can smell the store right now. I can see the wood in my head, this beat-up wood. I can feel the energy of the space. I've already embraced the moment of when I finally get to have my own store."

And the spaces will be inspired by smelling the roses with Dries Van Noten: "I always envision this store where the colors are hung on the racks like a group of flowers, like [the Belgian designer] Dries [van Noten]'s garden—Dries showed me his garden—and I was just wanting the colors to fit together in this way," said West. Adorable.

Dries wasn't the only designer he name checked: Azzedine Alaia, Nicolas Ghesquière, Mickey Drexler, and former Kanye-collaborator A.P.C's Jean Touitou all got their shout outs, but West sang no one's praises louder than a certain French fashion force. "As far as the new designers go, everybody knows who's everyone's favorite...It's like the No 1. Everyone's waiting on it," West said of who else but Vetements -- the design collective behind the fucking important sweatshirt he's wearing in this fucking important meme.

But he's down with female designers, too: Although he didn't speak at length about her involvement, Standen confirmed an initial Financial Times report that Season 2's collection muse was Katharine Hamnett. The OG British designer opened up her archive of sweats and fatigues, and was caught chilling #frow next to Kanye's meme co-star, Lorde. But West is keeping the extent of that collaboration hush hush, at least for now.

He wants his shoes to be the new Air Force Ones: Present day hypebeasts aside, Ye has more populist plans in the works for the future of uber-coveted Adidas sneaker collab: "I feel like the Air Force One or the shell toe speak to the ultimate version of what sneakers were 20 years ago. And I think there's something about the 350s, that feeling of what sneakers are today."

Fade was for the kids: Although Yeezus disciples will have to wait for new album Swish a little longer, Fade -- the track West premiered during his NYFW presentation -- was a gift to fervent fans. "For the 40 theaters across the globe, for the kids that all went to see it in theaters, I thought they'd be happy to hear some new music."

Turns, out, he's been thinking about youth a lot: West compared his creative growth to that of Anna Wintour's favorite tiny human, North Kardashian-West. "I almost feel I'm growing just like my daughter. I hear my daughter start to say exactly what she wants and to finish sentences and I think it's like that," West said, later adding, "Somehow the more and more creative I get, the closer and closer I get to who I was as a child."

The biggest surprise... he's actually cool with yoga pants: "I think people just wear yoga pants and sweatshirts, and I wanted to make the most beautiful version of that possible." 


Text Emily Manning
Photography Kate Owen

Vanity Fair