Winning a slew of Grammys and being voted MTV’s hottest emcee might be a pretty good excuse for putting your feet up. Not for Kanye West. Instead, the singer and producer, who has been tapped by Louis Vuitton to launch a line of sneakers, his passion, ran a veritable marathon attending men’s runway shows.
This story first appeared in the March 16, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I’d like to go to all the shows,” he said after the Vuitton show.
West gave his shoes the ultimate test-drive in Paris—appearing at Comme des Garçons, Dunhill, Dries Van Noten, John Galliano, Givenchy, Hermès, Kris Van Assche, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, Raf Simons, Walter Van Beirendonck—and in New York, stopping by Calvin Klein, Band of Outsiders and Patrik Ervell, to name but a few.
No one can accuse West of not doing his research: From the front-row benches (where the astute rapper took riding the pine to a whole new level), he studiously snapped photos of the model’s shoes. “I’ve always liked the design side of things,” he said.
So much so, in addition to the hours he put in at Louis Vuitton’s design studio, he also said he’d like to do an internship alongside Raf Simons in order to bolster his creative know-how for his own fashion line. “I think Kanye goes to the office more than I do. He’s really, really into sneakers,” said Marc Jacobs, Vuitton’s creative director.