Watch | 07. Mar 2022

Genie Out Of The Bottle

I first noticed Kanye West during Paris fahion week, actually someone had to tell me who that guy was with his girlfriend, sitting front row at Louis Vuitton right next to fashion critics grand dame Suzy Menkes. At that time I took West just for another loud-taste-rapper who desperately wanted to step into the sophisticated-taste-world. Like footballer Robert Lewandowski sitting front row at "Odd White´s" latest defilée.

Little did I know.

When I did my researches about French editor Carine Roitfeld´s life years later I found out that it was Kanye West who introduced her to his then girlfriend Kim Kardashian with the words: "Check out Carine´s work for Vogue or CR Magazine to learn about fashion and style".

In 2009 Kanye West interned at Fendi together with a Virgil Abloh, from 2010 on Abloh became creative director at "Donda", Kanye West´s agency, he also art directed West´s next album. Then founded his very own label "Off White" in 2014 and became mens´s wear designer at Louis Vuitton only three years later. Kanye West always close, always supportive.

Meanwhile I know at least three up-and-coming designers who own their early successes to the support of Kanye West, not to talk about labels like Givenchy, Balenciaga or GAP, who depend more or less on his creative input - may I say: Who else do we know in fashion who can claim disvcovering new talents by the dozen?

Since there is that new documentary about his early life, the world again reacts rather derisive than respectful. Mocking him for his struggle to become a solo artist after already being a successful producer.

Music is a competition for Kanye, and, like Ali or Jordan and King, he has always striven to be the best.

Though the light of Kanye’s egomania has lately fallen on much more than music—from fashion to Julia Fox to childrearing—his appetite for dominance remains undiminished, and if Jeen-yuhs successfully makes one point, it’s that supremacy has always been the artist’s raison d’être.

The first two parts are full of endearing moments that are nearly heartbreaking in their innocence. In one, Kanye is waiting outside of Ludacris’ studio, hoping that he might get the rapper to record a hook for a track on The College Dropout. Luda is nowhere to be found, and as Kanye waits nervously in the hall, he stops a bored little kid, asking if he knows hits like Jay-Z’s “Izzo (H.O.V.A.).” “I produced all those joints,” he informs the kid, hopefully. “Cool,” the kid says, thoughtlessly, before scooting away.

Looking back at an artist’s career before it’s over can lack a degree of satisfaction, like studying the moves in a chess match before a victor has emerged. But in Kanye’s case, the absence of a fixed conclusion is a nonfactor because by his standards a victor has emerged. You can’t beat someone who will never quit.

Like West or not—and you may do the former after watching this documentary—he will never go away.