Kanye West sat down with his longtime design collaborator Axel Vervoordt to talk about a vast array of topics, mostly focusing on their work together but also touching on Yeezy’s plans for a philosophy book, his future goals for YEEZY, and his thoughts on Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton appointment.
Moderated by The Hollywood Reporter, the conversation was described as “electric,” with the two immediately clicking. Of course, it wouldn’t be a conversation involving Kanye West if there weren’t a few juicy quotes included. One such quote: “I don’t wish to be number one anymore, I wish to be water,” as Kanye spoke of his goal to work with charity foundation UNICEF.
Scroll through some of the best quotes below and then read the full piece here.
On learning that Virgil Abloh was named Creative Director of Menswear at Louis Vuitton
WEST: I had been dealing with a very heavy concept this week that I couldn’t get out of my head. Just the way you’re expressing yourself has lifted the burden on me.
VERVOORDT: Something bad happened?
WEST: It’s not bad or good, it’s my creative collaborator being the head of Louis Vuitton. (Laughs.) Because [Abloh and I] have been fighting to make apparel at a certain price that still has the same credibility and desirability as something at a higher price. … But when they say he was my creative director, that’s incorrect. He was a creative collaborator.
On watching TV and being influenced
WEST: I do think that there’s not a balance in the news. Like you said, we don’t want to be influenced, just informed. That’s a big term that people use right now: influencers. I don’t want anyone to influence. … I don’t usually watch normal TV. I liked watching the Olympics. (Laughs.) I do try to watch documentaries. And there’s a Wes Anderson movie [Isle of Dogs] that’s out right now that I’m definitely going to try to catch.
On his ego
VERVOODT: You want to be part of the flow without ego. The freer you are, the more creative you will be. Ego is limiting.
WEST: I fight with that every day.
On being timeless
WEST: When working on “Runaway” with [artist] Vanessa Beecroft, it was very important to not define the time, to not give any labels to the environments that we were in.
Yeah, sometimes even people say that the [YEEZY] clothes are boring, but you can wear something from four years ago today. We avoid trends.
On writing a philosophy book
WEST: I’m writing a philosophy book right now called Break the Simulation. And I’ve got this philosophy — or let’s say it’s just a concept because sometimes philosophy sounds too heavy-handed. I’ve got a concept about photographs, and I’m on the fence about photographs — about human beings being obsessed with photographs — because it takes you out of the now and transports you into the past or transports you into the future.
On his plans with YEEZY
WEST: At Adidas, I have Yeezy, but it’s a namesake brand. It’s my nickname. We do these sneakers that sell out and we get, “Oh, this is the number one brand on Women’s Wear Daily.” And I don’t wish to be number one anymore, I wish to be water. I wish to be closer to UNICEF or something where I can take the information that I have and help as many people as possible, not to just shove it into a brand.
And then there was this
WEST: A designer told me that my wife was a master of light and I was a master of time.
Next, check out our beginners guide to every Kanye West x adidas release so far here.