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PUTTING THE (W)EST IN W: The next interview with Kanye West will appear in W magazine in its August issue. West sat with contributor Christopher Bagley over several days in March and April at his apartment in Paris, where he was recording his new album “Yeezus.”
In the interview, West recalls an invitation from an unnamed designer last fall to attend a runway show with the condition that West would not attend anyone else’s. West, upset, wrote a song with Daft Punk about the incident, “I Am a God.”
“Cause it’s like, Yo! Nobody can tell me where I can and can’t go. Man, I’m the number-one living and breathing rock star. I am Axl Rose; I am Jim Morrison; I am Jimi Hendrix. You can’t say that you love music and then say that Kanye West can’t come to your show,” West said.
In one exchange between West and Kris Jenner, the mother of his girlfriend Kim Kardashian, West mocks Jenner when her response to a track she’s just heard — “Great job!” — strikes him as inadequate.
“Great job? Great job, Baccarat, for making a glass that can hold liquid! Great job, belt hoops, for keeping my pants up,” West said.
West concedes he can come across as a buffoon and asks Bagley to edit some of his nonsense — “Turn my flea market of information into a beautiful living space.”
West has only given one interview in the run-up to the album’s release, a much-discussed Q&A with The New York Times’ Jon Caramanica, a former editor at Complex magazine, where West is still listed as a contributing editor.
And so W, sitting on something of a get, is posting the profile online today, in advance of the August issue’s release to newsstands on July 16, to coincide with the launch of its Web site’s redesign.
W’s site hasn’t been redesigned in a little more than two-and-a-half years, and the overhaul, done in collaboration with the luxury digital agency firm Sweden Unlimited, is aiming to raise its audience of a little more than a million monthly uniques.
The overhaul also includes a new mobile site, responsive to all devices, to capitalize on growing traffic coming from smartphones.
Stefano Tonchi, W’s editor in chief, said the new site privileges images over text. He looked at the sites of other fashion magazines and it seemed that navigation was driven by lists and “a lot of words.
“What’s missing out there is a Web site that can make you dream,” Tonchi said. “We gave [the designers] this briefing of creating a visual network, something that resembles a refrigerator door in your house, where there [are] a lot of things that are interesting and one goes on top of the other. We wanted to create a landing page that is a collage of images.”
W’s landing page features a highlight reel of the newest material, and the rest is stacked as an endless scroll of images, with the most recent content nearest the top.
In contrast to other Condé Nast magazines, W’s entire issues will be available online for free, though features will make their way to the Web site in pieces, not all at once. Tonchi, referring to the early publication of the West interview, said it allows the magazine to be “more responsive to what is happening out there.”
Staffers will also be posting some pieces exclusively to the Web, updated throughout the day, but there won’t be a vertical dedicated to new blog posts — instead they’ll appear under various categories, like Fashion or People. W’s lengthy archives are partially online, and the magazine is continuously working on adding pieces. A W YouTube channel, in the manner of Vogue and Glamour, won’t appear for some time — Tonchi said Condé Nast Entertainment is just now starting to take a look at the magazine — but the new site has a video vertical that features behind-the-scenes footage, runway shows, clips highlighting pieces from the magazine and “screen tests” with celebrities.