Rapper was living in the UK when violence broke out in 2011
Kanye West has said that his Adidas Originals Collection was inspired, in part, by the London riots of 2011.
West discussed his fashion inspiration and influence in a new interview with Style in which he also opened up about how he does does not read reviews of his designs. At one point in the interview, West describes himself as “the Robin Hood of fashion” as he feels “there’s some information in it that can help people have better lives”.
On the subject of the London riots, however, West says that spending time in the capital in 2011 and seeing what happened on the streets as violence broke out across the city inspired his take on fashion.
“I was living in London at that time and saw the way that the kids wanted the clothes and I didn’t have the skill set to do the more inexpensive clothes,” West said. “This designer said to me one time, we were looking at something online, “This looks like a really bad couture designer that no one knows.” Think about the idea of a really terrible couture designer, which there are a lot of. I didn’t have the skill set to do inexpensive clothes.”
Later on in the same interview West touches on racism, a subject he has been outspoken on many times before, but this time argues that people making ignorant comments to him gives him the opportunity to correct them and help “clean” the world.
“Racism and the focus on racism is a distraction to humanity. It would be like focusing on the cousin from your mom’s side versus the cousin on your dad’s side. We’re all cousins. We’re all the same race. To even focus on the concept of race, it’s like—perhaps people give me an extra cookie for the fact that my color palette is so controlled and I’m black. When someone that’s like, racist, comes up to me at A.P.C. and says, ‘I thought it would be a bunch of animals on your shirts,’ because they heard that I rapped. But it just makes the journey interesting. We came into a broken world. And we’re the cleanup crew. And we’re only cleaning up by helping each other.”
West recently debuted a new song featuring Vic Mensa and Sia at the launch of his Adidas Yeezy 750 Boost collection following an eventful week which began with him pretending to interrupt Beck’s Grammy Award acceptance speech.