Why did you stop doing Pyrex Vision, and launch Off-White? Pyrex was the first vision of the idea but that was more of an art project for me. It was a simple exercise of working with one graphic; I had no intention of starting a label or a fashion brand. I just had this idea and wanted to put it out there. I organized it as a fashion film, with models … and just organizing it in that fashion context helped to grab hold of that culture. But when I looked back, I would never have named a fashion brand [Pyrex] that had to consistently put out new ideas. “Off-White,” to me, is vague and all-encompassing. So the collection starts with canvas, which is the DNA of the brand [gestures to a neutral-colored canvas shirt with a white screen-painted print]. The DNA of the brand is always screen-print on cut and sewn and/or ready-to-wear garments. I’m playing on ideas from my past, my training as an architect.
You studied architecture?
Yes, I have a master’s in architecture. It’s had quite a lot of wide space: I’ve been able to apply things that interested me — and concepts that I learned about — in my current role as a creative director.
Do you think architecture and fashion share similarities?
Yeah, it’s all the same side of the brain. In architecture you have to listen to a client. They might say, In two years time, I’m going to have two kids and I like my morning tea in the sun. Just that simple statement organizes the floor plan … For me, with fashion, I take the same approach. I look at culture and I see what the kids around me are wearing and I see a particular style. I understand the space between fashion and streetwear. The same way architecture tries to fill a void, my goal is to build a brand that’s young, but also a brand that plays between the world of fashion and streetwear. The fashion consumer likes a high-low mix — I want to be a brand that represents that.
You have the title of Kanye West’s creative director. What does that actually mean?
[Laughs] Essentially we’re spent ten years being creative. That is his life goal, he is an artist, and basically I just help him see his vision through.
Is that a full-time role?
Yeah, it can be. That’s the thing about this … for me, this is what I am meant to do for my career. I am fortunate to be able to have a team to help put this together but this is my main focus. I needed this to be the core to the legacy of ideas that I have. This is completely my vision and it’s recurring. It’s daunting, but I like the idea that I kind of just jumped on a treadmill, and that each season there needs to be new ideas.
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