Kanye West Is Supporting Emerging Designers With His New Incubator Program

Kanye West has a new incubator program to help emerging designers get their feet off the ground.

The 41-year-old’s first grant recipient is a fellow Chicagoan and a Yeezy alum, Maisie Schloss.

Schloss, a graduate of Parsons School of Design, is launching a new brand called Maisie Wilen this week. She’ll start off with an 85-piece resort collection, with items ranging from $100 to $950. Schloss will hold a friends-and-family event in Los Angeles this week before heading to Paris later in June for another fête.

Yeezy is a really special environment for growing and developing a career. When I started I was just an assistant, but the highly creative and unconventional atmosphere allowed for me to have visibility and input in a wide variety of projects,” Schloss told Vogue of her time working with West. “Kanye very generously offered to support me; he truly cares about sharing resources, creating opportunities for creatives to grow and be recognized.”

West has long sought to foster young talent through his Yeezy employees — hiring a diverse mix of designers since the brand’s 2014 launch.

Additionally, big names like Heron Preston and Virgil Abloh drew initial buzz in part due to their affiliation with the “Gold Digger” rapper. Preston worked as art director for ‘Ye, helping to design tour merchandise, as well as consulting on Yeezy. Meanwhile, Off-White designer Abloh and West have been close pals since they interned at Fendi together in 2009 (when West was already a Grammy-winning recording artist).

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