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Kanye Talks Fashion, Racism, and Michelangelo in Two-Hour Interview

Photo: Dominique Charriau/Getty Images

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Kanye West took part in SHOWstudio's "In Camera" live interview earlier this morning, and, as to be expected from the talkative rapper, there were plenty of quotes worth paying attention to. West answered a series of questions submitted by fans as well as industry icons like Anna Wintour, Carine Roitfeld, and SHOWstudio founder Nick Knight. The interview lasted over two hours in which West touched on racism in the fashion industry, fashion as an art form, his family, and why Yeezy Season isn't as affordable as he'd like it to be. We break down the most important quotes from the interview below.

Kanye explains why fashion is the highest art form. "Right now, the highest art form is actually fashion. And what's funny about that is people in art look down on fashion designers. The most energy currently is around fashion because in music it's within question if a song is popular if that person is a really good artist or not. In fashion, if someone is popular it's because it's agreed upon that they're an amazing artist, they're amazing at what they've done. And people do the history on what their background is. Did they intern for Christian Lacroix? Did they work at Margiela for a period? They find out what the history is and see if that person is making a connection to something that is current, is relative, that's in touch. Fashion designers are superstars currently, too."

It's harder to make it in the fashion industry if you're not white. "With blacks in fashion... it took me being Kanye West to get this far, I was able to become a multi-millionaire and invest in myself because no one else would have, in a million years," the musician explained, highlighting the scarcity of opportunities for black people in the industry... If you're born black, if you make it to something like the Met Ball or the Grammys, most likely you've done ten times the amount of everyone else there to get there."

Kanye has strong words for people who don't like his Yeezy 350 Boosts. "I don't care because anyone that's criticizing mostly likely saw the 350s and acted like they didn't like them because they're racist and discriminatory. They're not only racist against black people, they discriminate against celebrities, people with multiple art forms."

Why his Yeezy Season collection isn't as cheap as he wants it to be. "It's gonna to take time to get there. This is what I'm sayin' when you don't have the right tools... This is the question that everybody asks. It's like, if you had the Céline design team, the Nike design studio, and the Zara factory could you do everything that you thought you could do? What would everyone's answer be to that? Yes. But if you don't have that Céline outerwear person, that factory, and you don't have the entire adidas studio—let me be politically correct—and you don't have the marketing team and you don't have the sales team you can only do what you can do. We're doing a lot with what we have. What we have is the highest level of communication that has ever happened in human existence."

Does he think he'll be remembered as one of fashion's greatest designers? (Spoiler alert: an emphatic yes) "Of course. I'm Michelangelo. Of course. There was a time when there were people sculpting better than him. But he made David. So as far as that question goes, is there a time when he can go on the internet and find a shoe people want more than my shoes? Well, go fuck yourself then if it isn't, and don't ask me stupid shit like that again."

How his family has changed him. "Three years ago, after this interview, I would've been on a train back to Paris to see the last of the shows and get that inspiration. Now, I'm on the first flight back to see my greatest inspiration, and that's my daughter."

Watch the full interview here.