By now, you’re probably at least aware of the name behind Kanye West’s highly sought-after The Life of Pablo merchandise. The man responsible for the designs is 43-year-old artist Cali Thornhill DeWitt. But while you may know the name, chances are you’re still unfamiliar with who DeWitt really is, as well as his background. Accordingly, Vogue recently caught up with the creative to get his take on working with ‘Ye and more.
First off, Cali has quite the history with musicians. He once worked as a roadie for Courtney Love and her band Hole, in addition to babysitting for Love and Kurt Cobain’s daughter, Frances Bean Cobain. DeWitt also appeared in drag on the cover of Nirvana’s In Utero album back in the early ’90s.
But back to how he connected with Kanye. We all first saw Yeezy donning the work of DeWitt’s during TIDAL‘s launch event last March. ‘Ye was wearing a custom sweatshirt designed by Cali, in honor of his late mother. The crewneck featured the familiar font that has since been used on West’s TLOP tour merch. After the fact, and especially surrounding his recent album release, Kanye was seen rocking similar styles, again with the DeWitt-produced font.
Most importantly during the interview, Cali expressed gratitude to Kanye for approaching him, as opposed to simply reproducing the font and using it on his own, saying “whether we do this or not, I appreciate your reaching out.”
In addition to detailing his initial experience with Kanye, DeWitt also spoke with Vogue regarding the five-day time frame that he had to come up with the designs, as well as detailing the foundation behind his work.
For the complete conversation between Cali Thornhill DeWitt and Vogue, follow here.
- Photographer: Thomas Welch / Highsnobiety