Kanye West took to the stage Wednesday evening at the 29th FN Achievement Awards and enthralled the crowd of shoe designers, retailers and brand executives with his nearly 20-minute acceptance speech that covered everything from fashion shows in Paris to presidential bids — and included more than half a dozen f-bombs.
West was met with an entertained crowd as he poked fun at the world of celebrity and spoke candidly about everything from his early design inspiration, to being taken seriously as a creator and even having to sneak into an Alexander McQueen show.
In between laughs and applause from the audience, West took the time to genuinely thank all those who had helped his journey along the way.
Here are 10 of his best quotes from the evening, and stay tuned to Footwearnews.com for more highlights from Wests’s Shoe of the Year acceptance as well as other great moments from the awards.
“You’re thinking, where’s my suit jacket? But if my wife’s not here, no suit jacket.”
“I have absolutely no plans for what I’m going to say, so this could land completely wrong, but it doesn’t really fucking matter, does it? If you don’t like 10-minute profanity-ridden speeches that end with a presidential bid, you can go to the bathroom.”
“After the infamous Taylor Swift moment did a sort of self exile just to get away from paparazzi and have people not, you know, just fucking with me, really. And the first thing I did was I went to Japan and it was me and Virgil Abloh, who has the brand Off White, and we just sat on a computer every day with this idea of designing. We designed on the computer so much we started to joke, ‘hey, did you wash my jpg?'”
“I remember always going back to the fashion shows, not because I wanted to be seen in some really expensive rapper jacket that I’d just bought. It was because I cared so much about seeing artists express themselves to the maximum.”
“I want to bring joy. Just like when my daughter is singing and jumping around — she might not be finishing her sentences perfectly, but she’s bringing so much joy. And I know that she’s going to grow up and be amazing.”
“As a creator, it doesn’t matter how big your house is, how big your name is, how much money you have, your job is to create while you’re here and if anyone is in the way of that, if anything gets in the way of that, you got to burn it to the fucking ground.”
“I want to fucking draw shoes, and it doesn’t matter if someone thinks that I’m supposed to be doing something that’s more important. [Adidas] gave me the opportunity, especially this first run, to make ’em however I want to make ’em. They didn’t say, “You got to make the logo four times bigger than the shoe.'”
“The [Adidas] contract said 25 SKUs, and the fashion show I was supposed to do a collection with 25 SKUs — I don’t know how that was supposed to happen. And the original talent budget was $500,000 — I don’t know how I was supposed to put a design team together for that, but luckily I’m a multi-millionaire rapper and I covered the rest of it.”
“Me and Giuseppe Zanotti have been really good friends and he was very crucial to my creative process. Also Louis Vuitton that allowed me to do that one collaboration. And the company that I won’t mention, that I’ve been very angry with in the past, they were very helpful too to launch the name Yeezy as a shoe.”
“I’m trying to take a full ‘Will Ferrell drunk brother at the wedding’ vibe. Have I reached that level yet? Here’s to fucking everything up!”
For all the red carpet highlights, click through the gallery below.