yeezy season never ends

Kanye Says Yeezy Season 2 Wasn’t a Political Statement

Yeezy Season 2.
Yeezy Season 2. Photo: Randy Brooke/Getty Images

“It was calmer,” Kanye West tells Vanity Fair today about the much-discussed second season of his Yeezy collection. In an endlessly quotable discussion, he confirms that he’s still planning on running for president in 2020, which might make him the first president to publicly speak on the importance of sweatshirts. West shoots down the speculation that his show — in which the models were divided by race — was a political statement on his part. He also talks about having mood-board-spurred nightmares, sneakers as an art form, and why the fashion world makes him feel like Will Ferrell in Elf. Read on for some of the best quotes from the wide-ranging  interview.

On his process:

“I slept at the studio and I would have dreams or nightmares about the look board.”

On his #athleisure leanings:

“I think people just wear yoga pants and sweatshirts, and I wanted to make the most beautiful version of that possible.”

On a potential store opening:

“The only concrete plan is that I plan to use concrete.”

On sneakers as an art form:

“I think if Michelangelo was alive or Da Vinci was alive, there’s no way that they wouldn’t be working with shoes.”

On the importance of sweatshirts:

“Sweatshirts are fucking important. That might sound like the funniest quote ever. How can you say all this stuff about running for president in 2020 and then say sweatshirts are important? But they are. Just mark my words. Mark my words like Mark Twain.”

On the political connotations of his collection:

“It had nothing to do with race. It was only colors of human beings and the way these palettes of people work together and really just stressing the importance of color, the importance of that to our sanity, these Zen, monochrome palettes … You can take it how you want; obviously I’m a very socially charged human being. But at the end of the day, I’m just simply an artist trying to express myself, trying to finish my sentences just like my daughter can.”

On his platform for his 2020 presidential campaign:

“When I run for president, I’d prefer not to run against someone. I would be like ‘I want to work with you.; As soon as I heard [Ben] Carson speak, I tried for three weeks to get on the phone with him. I was like this is the most brilliant guy. And I think all the people running right now have something that each of the others needs. But the idea of this separation and this gladiator battle takes away from the main focus that the world needs help and the world needs all the people in a position of power or influence to come together.”

On the controversy over his fashion-week time slot (Anne Bowen and Naeem Khan, you guys might be getting some apology sweatshirts!):

“I totally apologize to any of those designers and anyone that wanted that slot. I would love to send them some flowers or maybe wear a sweatshirt if that could help to make up for it. A lot of times I feel like Will Ferrell in the movie Elf. You know this big guy that wants to [join in] and his hands are a little bit too big … I could just say please forgive me if I ever step on any toes, because there’s nothing that I would ever want to do or say that would take away from any designer, that would take away from anyone’s work or what they’re working so hard on.”

Kanye: Yeezy Season 2 Not a Political Statement