Over the past few weeks, Kanye West has reemerged on Twitter to discuss it all: conservative pundits; President Trump; leading with love, and free thinking.
Sprinkled within this stream of consciousness are mentions of his Yeezy label, which he produces with Adidas. According to West, Yeezy now consists of food, shelter, communication and education. Oh, and he added that it’s also a VC fund that’s invested in three companies since last week.
Adidas didn’t respond to questions about whether the activewear company is tied to this venture, but West’s tweets show a desire to be much more expansive with the apparel and sneaker brand. He says he has hired Gap’s former head of supply chain, Deborah Palmer Keiser, and wants to make the line more affordable. He’s also staffing up and has 160 positions to fill by the end of the year.
West has always had aspirations for his brand to be all-encompassing and accessible, but his move toward a more democratic fashion collection seems to be a response to his strained relationship with the luxury industry and possibly Virgil Abloh’s new position at Louis Vuitton men’s.
West revealed on May 1 in an interview with radio personality Charlamagne that at one point there was a Yeezy deal in place with Bernard Arnault, the chairman and chief executive officer of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, but it fell through.
Looking outside of the confines of the fashion industry seems to be West’s current strategy as he likens himself more to Walt Disney than Michael Jordan and takes meetings with venture capitalist and entrepreneur Peter Thiel.
In June 2016, Adidas revealed that it would expand on its collaboration with West and launch Adidas + Kanye West, “a Yeezy-branded entity creating footwear, apparel and accessories for all genders across street and sport” that would have its own retail locations. The company called the alliance “the most significant partnership ever created between a non-athlete and an athletic brand,” but the terms of the deal and West’s stake in the business are not known.