Kanye West is always unabashedly himself, so it’s unsurprising that he follows a nontraditional path when working on his Adidas Yeezy label.
In a video with Forbes released today, the 42-year-old entrepreneur discussed the process behind creating Yeezy sneakers.
“You start with a sketch, start with a vintage reference. It can start with a previous shoe that we created that we’re making a newer version of, or feelings of films and experiences that I grew up with,” he explained. “We have a team of incredible designers. We’ll take the entire design team to Japan; we’ll take the entire design team to the zone and talk about where we’d like to take these ideas.”
The rapper said a lot of his inspiration comes from his life experiences, with the movie “Akira” and the Lamborghini Countach serving as major touch points for him. The Yeezy, he joked, “is the Lamborghini of shoes.”
“There’s so many prototypes that you go into for whatever you get,” West said, explaining that hundreds of prototypes are sometimes created before landing on the final product. “They’re miniature vehicles; we work on shoes like you’d work on a car.“
Looking down at thousands of his sneakers, the entertainer noted that “there’s no bad shoes.”
“Any of these shoes that didn’t make it . . . 20 years from now, you’ll look and that shoe will be worth [a lot] to the numbers guy,” he said. “What’s a Picasso sketch worth now? What’s a Warhol sketch worth?”
While the designer’s creative process may be somewhat eccentric, his model works. According to Forbes, West was the third highest-earning celebrity in the past year, raking in $150 million in pre-tax income largely due to Yeezy. The magazine estimates Yeezy will do $1.5 billion in sales in 2019. The kicks have also earned ‘Ye plenty of acclaim, with his Yeezy Boost earning the 2015 FN Achievement Award for Shoe of the Year.
Below, watch celebrity highlights from the FNAAs.
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