If you’d won a slew of Grammys and been voted MTV’s hottest emcee, you might think about putting your feet up. Not Kanye West. Instead, the singer and producer is designing for the feet, having been tapped by Louis Vuitton to launch a line of sneakers, his passion.
This story first appeared in the January 23, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I think Kanye goes to the office more than I do. He’s really, really into sneakers,” said Marc Jacobs, Vuitton’s creative director.
WWD caught up with West here Thursday after Vuitton’s runway show, where the shoes made their debut, to get his take on men’s wear:
WWD: What did you think of the show?
Kanye West: I thought it was great — a really great classic collection this time. I like to be able to dress in a way where you look back in 30 years and still like what you had on.
WWD: How was it working with Marc Jacobs?
K.W.: He’s my favorite designer. I think he’s the most important designer in fashion right now, and he reminds me of how Jay-Z was in rap music when I came to Roc-A-Fella [Records]. Any time I can get around him and learn as much as possible is just a blessing.
WWD: What was your inspiration behind the sneaker collection?
K.W.: We started from the sole. We made it lighter weight and flexible, so you can bend it…. I was inspired by the movie “Dune” because, as you know, I love sci-fi…. The collection had all these jackets that were very padded. They looked like maybe they had hockey pads in the jacket, and there was one where the collar came up really high. I took that element and I put that on the back of the shoe. It’s like the opposite of the tongue. Usually you have the tongue at the front. [This is] like a tongue at the back.
WWD: How many pairs of sneakers do you own?
K.W.: I don’t know. Maybe 400 or something like that. I just got rid of a bunch of them.
WWD: Can you tell us how you keep yours so clean?
K.W.: Boxes. The key is keeping the boxes. I wear sneakers till they get old.