Kanye West’s quest for the perfect hoodie came to a fitting conclusion – he ended up making it himself. West’s second drop for GAP is a 100% organic double-layered hoodie. Its initial version (retail at $ 90) is 100% sold out. You’ll already find it on the aftermarket for around $ 300.
It’s no surprise that building the world’s largest hoodie is a personal mission for a man who previously said “sweatshirts are fucking important.” A glance at West’s style evolution over the past two decades makes it clear that he loves his oversized, manned hoodies. For West, it’s as much about comfort as it is about style. It’s also possible to see a correlation between its declining musical relevance and its growing fashion credentials over the same period (if you’re of that persuasion).
As with everything Kanye West, what he wears isn’t just about expressing his personal style or identifying trends and talents, it’s all about self-promotion. Whether it’s promoting an album release, the latest version of YEEZY, or his political campaigns, you can guarantee that there is a larger cultural context around everything West wears, especially his choice of hoodie.
Here we take a look at the ups and downs of West’s hoodies over the past 20 years.
Before they became the most controversial label in the world, West grabbed the first collection from Parisian label / collective Vetements and visited their showroom. During her subsequent year-long personal Vetements hype campaign, West raves about the collective led by Demna Gvasalia, telling Vanity Fair, “It’s like No.1. Everyone’s expecting it. ” But it’s from the front row of Paris Fashion Week in March 2015 that West has propelled Vetements from fashion strangers to worldwide fame, simply by wearing their signature oversized hoodie. In Lorde he found another fan.
The hoodie in question is said to embody Vetements’ upcycled, post-ironic graphics and the ‘trash’ fashion aesthetic. Its heavy metal Korn-esque typeface invoked the knotty Thrasher logo, while the loose fit was pure skateboarder comfort. Kanye would wear the same hoodie multiple times that year, by the time Rihanna wore the same hoodie leaving the Roc Nation offices, haute couture hoodies had a moment of their own. Fast forward to 2021, and the same issue of Vetements is back.
Black Yeezy Season 1
The first Adidas Originals x Kanye West clothing collaboration for fall / winter, titled YEEZY SEASON 1, kicked off with West’s booming voice of “I’m here to break the pavement” on the soundsystem. New York Fashion Week by Italian performance artist Vanessa Beecroft. This is also where Kanye made his debut with the title “Wolves”, with Vic Mensa and Sia. West dubbed the collection the world’s first “solution-based” clothing line, saying, “I don’t I want clothes to be life, I want clothes to help life.
Despite criticism of the utilitarian fabrication of the collections and its late programming, the spectacle was inevitable, if not undeniable. The black hoodie West wore on the runway sounded like a statement of intent, striking a serious tone as it marked West’s transition to a full-fledged fashion mogul. You could call it the prototype of what would become the “perfect hoodie” of today’s GAP collection.
Rick and morty
The West is coveted Rick and morty The 2019 hoodie featured original artwork by show illustrator Justin Noel and co-creator Justin Roiland. Custom designs incorporated characters like Scary Terry and Armagheadon’s giant head from the “Get Schwifty” episode, plus a bunch of “Yo Kanye!” and “Love and Peace” doodles.
West’s fandom for the series was no secret at this point. He tweeted: “This is the best news. It’s my favorite show. I’ve seen each episode at least 5 times each, “in response to the show’s renewal of 70 episodes in 2018. Rick and Morty creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland responded, calling West a” goddamn mind. related, genius, visionary ”, above all to give and offer West his own episode. While that has yet to materialize, Harmon has given MSNBC an update on the Kanye episode, saying “time will tell.” He went on to reveal that the end result was going to involve a lot of original music, which meant that “seven different companies” had to get involved in trying to figure out the legal logistics.
On a Thursday night in May 2018, West hosted a live listening party for their seven-track album, ye. Private jets were chartered to drop a select audience of musicians, journalists and influencers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where the album was recorded. Ty Dolla $ ign, 2 Chainz, Nas, A $ AP Nast, Lil Yachty, Kid Cudi, Pusha-T, Jonah Hill and Kim Kardashian were all in attendance.
Guests received a special commemorative product pack upon arrival. The Wyoming capsule collection was created in collaboration with Bravado and designed by artist and longtime YEEZUS collaborator Wes Lang. The collection included the orange hoodie that West (who was no stranger to wearing his own merch *) would wear that night, sporting “WYOMING” in slime green text and featuring images of the snow-capped peaks of Wyoming. The bratty design lines up perfectly with an album Pitchfork dubbed “Born of Chaos for the Love of Chaos”.
* Honorable mention to the Lucky Me I See Ghosts and Jesus is King hoodies.
The velvet cut made several outings in 2015, including an appearance on The Breakfast Club radio show, during New York Fashion Week for Jeremy Scott’s Fall / Winter 2015 presentation, and dinner with Taylor Swift. Six years after West’s infamous Taylor Swift cut-off incident, it seemed, for a moment, that they might collaborate. “She wants to get into the studio and we’ll definitely get in,” West told Ryan Seacrest at the time.
The velor hoodie made its most notable appearance at the Grammys, where West would make another awards hiatus. This time it was during Beck’s Best Album of the Year acceptance speech to once again defend Beyoncé, stating, “Beck has to respect art and he should have presented Beyoncé with his award.” According to Theophilus London, the velor hoodie was the “Yeezy x addias fabric [sic] jumpsuit ”which was one of 95 looks West designed for his adidas line that year.
Drawing inspiration from iconic Katharine Hamnett slogans, the Kanye Vote is an underrated fashion moment of West’s 2020 presidential race. In the 1980s, Hamnett was adept at making a splash (like West) with his collections of socio-politically charged slogans – including the iconic “CHOOSE LIFE” T-shirt worn by George Michael – intentionally designed to be copied en masse.
Unfortunately for West, the sentiment “Vote Kanye” was not widely adopted, his attempt to fit into the 2020 election, which resulted in his so-called “birthday party” raising just 60,000. votes out of about 160 million. At the time, West was allegedly looking to file other phrases, including “God Save America,” for a planned clothing line that seemed to put faith at the center of its politics. That said, the sentiment works beyond the context of West’s flat circus show of a campaign nomination – you can vote Kanye with your heart any fucking day you choose.
While West’s preppy look was integral to defining his College Dropout era, the preppy backpack rapper aesthetic (influenced by Chicago’s Reggieknow) is a far cry from the Kanye we see today. During this period, the staples of West’s wardrobe were Ralph Lauren polo shirts, jump-neck rugby polo shirts, blazers, Louis Vuitton backpacks and the rare sneakers.
In 2007, West and Bathing Ape teamed up to release “Dropout Bear” versions of classic Bapesta sneakers, echoing the brown, orange and beige hues of The College Dropout cover. West was a BAPE enthusiast throughout the Dropout era, donning pieces like the Bape camouflage hoodie he wore backstage in December 2004 at an EA Games “Def Jam Fight For NY” party at the Alife Club in Tokyo.
Research group raised “Series of the dead”
The early 2000s are full of fashion pitfalls that don’t date well – unless you talk about Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears’ iconic double-denim looks at the 2001 American Music Awards. Perhaps best forgotten 2000s fashion is the red Lifted Research Group “Dead Series” hoodie that West wore to a Stella McCartney fashion show in 2006.
Originally released in 2005, the LRG hoodie featured glow-in-the-dark skeleton graphics and mesh eyes in the hood so you could see with the full zip hood. Not to be confused with BAPE’s Shark Hoodie, the LRG coin “Dead Serious” was selling for around $ 100 at the time. Today the hoodie screams Camden Market and surely chills even nostalgic and die-hard streetwear fans – although that hasn’t stopped LRG from reviving the hoodie in 2020 in a new black colourway with gray skeleton and yellow heart.