kanye consultant ian connor on why yeezy's diverse runways are changing fashion

Kanye's 22-year-old creative consultant on that Wiz Khalifa rant and why Yeezy's runway show matters.

by i-D Staff and Hannah Ongley
10 February 2016, 9:45pm

Amber Rose might have been caught in the eye of the social media shitstorm that was Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa's Twitter beef last week, but she wasn't the only person alluded to in West's rant about Khalifa and his A-grade pants game. Chilling in the crossfire was West's 22-year-old creative consultant Ian Connor, who used to style Wiz before joining forces with West, making him responsible for said pants. And Connor's influence — as his 433k Instagram followers will attest — extends far beyond the wardrobes of rap elites.

On the eve of West's hyped Yeezy Season 3 presentation at New York Fashion Week, Connor spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about Yeezy's much-debated approach to the democratization of fashion. While West has been attacked repeatedly for the luxury price tags affixed to his jersey sweats and duck boots, anyone with eyes can see that his shows are one of the most physically diverse on the fashion week calendar (we did the math, in case you missed it). Along with Kanye's repeat collaborator Vanessa Beecroft, they're changing our notions of what a runway show looks like in more ways than one.

"People can hate and talk down on certain things, but at the end of the day we're making shit cooler, we're making it better, and we're making it more open minded instead of the just the standard runway look, if that makes sense," Connor explained.

"Runway looks are like hard, you feel me? I feel like it's an art," he continued. "Even if the show is shitty it's hard to decide what looks good and what doesn't based on everything that's kind of clustered together with some designers. You might be like, "Oh, I like this shirt," even if you didn't like the outfit. But we're giving it like a whole new wave — like how a show or how clothing is supposed to look. I guess that fits us and fits our immediate market or the people that we want our clothes to pertain to. Which is everyone."

Connor also touches on West's fervently RT'd comment about not being skinny and tall. While on Twitter this came with the typically Kanye footnote that he was "still the greatest recording artist of all time," Connor is convinced it's also why the Yeezy model appeals to kids don't appear to fit the traditional fashion mold either.

"Oh definitely, because everybody doesn't look [skinny and tall.] Like me looking at a six foot model with a long trench coat on or whatever, that doesn't really have an effect on me. I know kids wouldn't wear a long trench coat like that. You get what I'm saying? So it's more about what fits you. And that tall model might not necessarily have the style that that small kid, or that fat kid, or that weird looking girl with weird eyes or something like that will have. And that will actually change shit."

Yeezy Season 3 finally takes place at Madison Square Garden tomorrow. Regardless of which Yeezy Boost colorways make it to the runway, it should provide plenty of reason to peel your eyes from Kanye's Twitter feed. 


Text Hannah Ongley
Photography Daniel Jackson
Fashion Direction Alastair McKimm 

Wiz Khalifa
kanye west
Ian Connor
runway diversity
ian o'connor