How Kanye West Influenced the Fashion Industry: OG History 👑

Ye and Julia Fox at the Paris Fashion week – image courtesy of Billboard.com

In the case of many high-profile celebrities, they become more than just performers in their respective industries. Instead, they become icons, be they artistic, cultural, or fashion icons. Thus, they set certain standards that others then follow. Kanye West is one such example.

Even though he’s known as a Grammy Award-winning artist and producer, he has left his mark and continues to do so in the fashion industry, causing more people to follow some of the trends he has set over the years. So, this article overviews some of the ways how Kanye West influenced the fashion industry to better understand the scope of his impact. 

Kanye’s Collaboration with Nike

In 2009, Kanye collaborated with Nike to launch Air Yeezys, which was a line of sneakers. Many people loved some of the shoes, which led to a lot of people buying them and reselling them at high prices. So, you can buy a pair of Red October Nike Air Yeezy 2 at about $18,000. While these prices may seem outrageous, true collectors will do what they can to get their hands on such valuable fashion pieces. 

Kanye’s Work with Fendi

Another aspect that showcased Kanye West’s style and creativity was his collaboration with the Italian luxury fashion company Fendi. He did an internship at the company back in 2009, and that gave him the opportunity to pitch some fantastic ideas for the men’s collection. 

Kanye’s Collaboration with Adidas

We can’t mention Yeezy without also explaining Kanye’s collaboration with Adidas. After Nike, he partnered with Adidas to also release a line of shoes under the Yeezy name. These shoes were first launched in December 2013. 

What Kanye Said About the Fashion Industry

In addition to his collaborations with various fashion houses, it’s important to also highlight what Kanye thought of the fashion industry and the interaction (or lack thereof) with race. In 2014, the renowned rapper criticized the fashion industry. He mentioned how there were no black men or celebrities that were part of making high-end fashion, such as Louis Vuitton. 

His comments were important in highlighting prevalent racial discrimination in the fashion industry. Moreover, they did have a positive impact on the future of the fashion industry, especially in terms of increasing racial and cultural diversity. 

In 2018, Kanye West and Virgil Abloh, his friend, was appointed the artistic director of the men’s section of Louis Vuitton. Therefore, his actions and that of others in the industry helped improve the overall racial diversity in the fashion industry. More diversity is important as it helps people express themselves the way they want to without making any compromises. 

Last Few Words

So, while it is commendable that Kanye has collaborated with various fashion companies, the more remarkable way how Kanye West influenced the fashion industry is by being an active proponent of more diversity. 

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