He talks about his fashion line, running for president and a little bit about the new record.
Kanye West is serious about fashion, running for President, SWISH.
Kanye West spoke to Vanity Fair almost exclusively about fashion, namely his Yeezy Season 2 collection which debuted at New York Fashion Week (and featured the controversial gradient skin lineup). However, they were able to sneak in a few questions about his upcoming record SWISH.
The full interview was extensive, so we chose our favorite responses from Mr. West, including tidbits where he mentions his upcoming 2020 presidential campaign (we're still unsure if he's serious or kidding).
I know we’re here to talk about the fashion, but people are just a little bit interested in the album. It could be another year?
I’m not sure. I’m not worried about the years. I’m worried about the life and the body of work that I can put out while I’m breathing.
That reminds me, we have to speak about the presidential campaign in a bit. But coming back to the stores, do you have concrete plans at this time?
The only concrete plan is that I plan to use concrete.
Then you’ve got to keep swimming. Is the album still called Swish?
It’s currently called Swish. I’m forgetting even what the last name of it was now.
Were you happy with the reaction to the first collection?
I think the entire fashion world at a certain point sort of looks at me and looks at my family as a child of theirs. Maybe not someone that completely grew up with them, but like an adopted child that came in, like a 17-year-old adoptee, you know [Laughs]. But still nonetheless like an adopted child. And I think it’s just interesting for them to see growth, and they can completely tell the difference in the way things were presented in the very first Paris collections to what we’re saying now.
But if the fashion world accepts you too much, does that mean you’re doing something wrong? If there’s no controversy…
Yeah, well, eventually I want the whole world to accept me and I want the whole world to accept each other. My vision of life is that we have all of the information to live in a better world, but we’re always holding information back. . . . In general the world is stingy with information. Information is the most important thing we have. Anytime I’ve ever had someone who intentionally held information from me in order to either control or manipulate the situation, be in charge of it in a certain way, that is the greatest travesty. I’d rather someone be hateful. It’s like being a fucking thief, you’re stealing information. It’s like when we go and we launch yeezy.supply, taking back the data is so important. And even musicians, for so long we were held back from our data. Meaning the record labels could have the data, but the musicians couldn’t have the data. This is the new world. The Internet’s like the Wild, Wild West. If you have your data, you have everything. You know the people that are connecting with you . . .
I think that the world can be helped through design. Because we don’t just sit up there and read the fucking [look] board. We look at it and we ask hours and hours and hours of questions, and the better people that you have in the room and the more information you have, the better opportunity you have of making a great decision and of creating a great proposal that people will connect to. I want everyone to win. When I run for president, I’d prefer not to run against someone. I would be like “I want to work with you.” As soon as I heard [Ben] Carson speak, I tried for three weeks to get on the phone with him. I was like this is the most brilliant guy. And 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.
Sounds like a presidential stump speech to me. Are you still thinking of running in 2020?
When you said that at the V.M.A.s, I thought the reaction was surprising. People didn’t seem to dismiss the idea. You would have thought there would be more of an outcry.
Especially from the six years of this misconception or the six years I went through of “We don’t like Kanye.” And then as soon as I said that, it was like, “Wait a second, we would really be into that, because actually if you think about it, he’s extremely thoughtful. Every time he’s ever gotten in trouble, he was really jumping in front of a bullet for someone else. He’s probably the most honest celebrity that we have.” I didn’t approach that because I thought it would be fun. It wasn’t like, Oh, let’s go rent some jet skis in Hawaii. No, the exact opposite. I sit in clubs and I’m like, Wow, I’ve got five years before I go and run for office and I’ve got a lot of research to do, I’ve got a lot of growing up to do. My dad has two masters degrees. My mom has a PhD, she used to work at Operation PUSH. Somehow the more and more creative I get, the closer and closer I get to who I was as a child. When I was a child, I was holding my mom’s hand at Operation PUSH. I think it’s time. Rap is great.
It’s fun. It’s fun to be a rock star, and I’ll never not be one I guess, but there’ll be a point where I become my mother’s child. With all the things I’ve done that people would consider to be accomplishments, what’s the point where I become the person that Donda and Raymond West raised? My parents’ child.
Will you have to give up your creative projects if you run?
I think about that. Because it’s so therapeutic for me to sit and work for seven days. We work on the collection year-round, every day to the office, we have an amazing team, but then you have that seven days before the show where you just really, really don’t sleep. . . . I have to stay creative. The whole point is to have someone [in office] that’s creative, that’s around amazing creatives. This is my theory: I think the world can be helped through design, so it’s very important that I stay around creative, forward thinkers. It’s very important that I continue to design, to be in practice of trying to make the best decisions possible. I hate politics. I’m not a politician at all. I care about the truth and I just care about human beings. I just want everyone to win, that’s all I can say, and I think we can. . . . I think the words “dreamer” and “passionate” diminish my will to execute. Because to be passionate about something or to dream about something does not say that it was executed. So when we talk about second season, it was executed. When we went and had a great season with stores, with Barneys and Luisa Via Roma and all these amazing stores, that was executed. When those Yeezys came out and sold what they did, that was executed. You can have the longest intellectual artistic conversation about anything and it all means nothing without execution.