Kanye West already sits in the driver’s seat of a burgeoning empire that includes the record label G.O.O.D. Music, creative house DONDA, and a Chicago chain of Fatburger restaurants. After dominating the music industry, West wants to expand his brand into fashion.
Building a fashion empire isn’t easy and it doesn’t just happen overnight. Wanting to be a part of the fashion world is a process. Most successful designers have been passionate about fashion for years, and worked hard to get to where they are. They are talented individuals who are not so cool with letting just anyone in their creative houses.
With various fashion collaborations already under his belt, West still hasn’t been recognized as a designer.
He has released a line of sneakers for Nike called Air Yeezy and another sneaker with Louis Vuitton. He has also released two capsule lines with A.P.C. and designed shoewear for Giuseppe Zanotti.
Last year, West inked a deal with Adidas but his collection has yet to be released. According to Page Six, “Kanye line has been pushed back four times because he hasn’t had enough time to work on it.”
I am the CEO and founder of the fashion site www.donbleek.com. I’ve given up my dreams of working in the music industry to devote all my time to running my website. Honestly, I don’t think Kanye is devoting all to fashion. Running a fashion empire (website, clothing line, print publication, etc.) takes a lot of time. He has been juggling his fashion line with his music career. If he really wants to be recognized as a fashion designer, then he’s going to have to really hunker down and use a different approach.
When people are really successful the way Kanye has been in music, they’re hoping and expecting their fame is transferrable to other products. The fashion industry, however, requires a lot of dedication and work. Some people might buy Kanye’s fashion products once because of his name, but if the products don’t deliver, they won’t buy them again. You can’t build a fashion business based on music fans only. People choose their fashions based on quality, do they make you look good, have a good fit or make you look sexy. They also take into account if it’s in the right price range. And it’s very important that they look different from what’s already out there. This is nothing new! This is the very proposition that every serious creative designer or artistic director struggles with day in and day out.
It’s no secret that Kanye has been having a very difficult time in the fashion world. He once announced that he would release his Pastelle Clothing line in spring 2006. The line was developed over the following four years, but was ultimately cancelled in 2009.
At the premiere of “DW” by Kanye West, his women’s wear collection, during Paris Fashion Week, critics weren’t too pleased. The New York Times’ Eric Wilson said, “What Mr. West eventually showed was confusing…it was obvious that most of the clothes suffered from a poor fit.”
With his highly anticipated Adidas collection on the way, there are no signs of Kanye having given up just yet on fashion. Hopefully, he has taken advice from designers and critics and will deliver a great collection.
BY DONOVAN MOORE