October 4th, 2011
Fashion Discussion, Fashion News, Kanye West
Why Won’t The Fashion World Let Kanye Be Great?
By Claire

Kanye just can’t seem to catch a break in the fashion world.
Though he’s demonstrated a clear love for the art form, mixed with industry influencers, and actually studies the craft, it seems critics are consistently poised to tear apart his every fashionable endeavor.

As we reported yesterday in the news, critics had a field day ripping his first collection, DW, to shreds, lambasting everything from the fit of the garments to the heels on the Giuseppe Zanotti x Kanye West shoes. DW might have simultaneously been the most highly anticipated and best attended yet most universally panned show of fashion week.

At the after party for his show Kanye made a heartfelt speech saying, “Thank you for anybody that didn’t believe, because they motivated us to break our boundaries. We don’t know what the reviews will be, we don’t know what they will say, but I got a chance to go to Italy and feel those fabrics. I begged Louis Vuitton to let me do more shoes after my shoes sold out in two weeks, and they did not. I begged Nike, I begged this company to let me do it. And I took out motherf—ing loans to get the best models, to get the best designers, to get the best venue. I gave you everything that I had. This is my first collection. Please be easy. Please give me a chance to grow. This is not some celebrity s—. I don’t f— with celebrities. I f— with the creatives in this room, the amazing people who spend every day of their life trying to make the world a more beautiful place.”

Kanye’s just trying to create beautiful things, people. But it seems at every turn he’s getting rejected, denied, then thrown under the bus.
Why Won’t The Fashion World Let Kanye Be Great?

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65 Responses to “Why Won’t The Fashion World Let Kanye Be Great?”

  1. BelleNoire100 says:

    Because the industry is tired of Celebs who want to join the ranks of the great designers like Dior, Lanvin, Chanel et al without even knowing how to construct a pattern much less knowing about fit. Just because someone is an interesting style tastemaker does not mean that they are great designers. Mr. West is a lover of good design and fashion but clearly not a great fashion designer. Give him some muslin, royal form, pins and shears and then we will see what he can do.

  2. Morris Pea says:

    Bella Noire 100 is right. But, still, Go Kanye!

  3. de says:

    On point BelleNoire100. I think true people of fashion know this. I don’t think he is taken seriously for obvious reasons.

  4. B. says:

    We see the same concepts from Stella McCartney (neutrals, whites, splashes of red and blue) and the same loose fits with a bit of flesh here and there as well as a couple of close-fitting pieces, but they get reviewed as “sexy” and a “renewed focus on relaxed ease”. Phoebe Philo at Celine is applauded for her “luxuriously spartan” use of blank white and grey with green and red in exaggeratedly loose fits. At Balenciaga the proportions were even more manipulated but “unsettling the eye” is declared to be “the point” that only the “fashion-mad” will understand.

    So why is it that when Kanye uses whites, neutrals, blacks, splashes of red and blue in relaxed fits with the occasional sexy body-con number that it’s the worst thing ever produced? Perhaps because he is a rapper and a celebrity, and therefore an ‘outsider’ to the world of the fashion elite.

    And while we’re talking about skewed reviews, I don’t get what people think is so fab about Prada’s latest? Again, possibly just because of the Designer attached and their reputation, people have decided on the review before the collection is released? (Don’t mean to offend, I realise Fashion Bomb reviewed the collection positively. Maybe my taste is too minimal for it.)

  5. Awomansbf07 says:

    It is going to be very tough for Kanye to become a respected designer because of all of the misconceptions that go along with celebrities who design as BelleNoire100 pointed out. But I believe has the diligence and tenacity to do it. Because there celebs who have done it successfully i.e. Gwen Stefani, Victoria Beckham, the Olsen twins.

    I also think he gets a bad rap (no pun intended lol) because he speaks his mind in a very authentic way and not everyone can appreciate that. But I appreciate it because he is giving it to you straight no chaser.

  6. Kanye took the time to learn about fashion PRIOR to releasing his own line he didn’t just slap his name on something without understanding what it was and really contributing to the creative process i don’t think the content of the line itself is being judged at all he could have sent out the most amazing & fashion forward line ever to grace Paris Fashion Week and it would have been ripped apart because it was Kanye we need to learn to seperate the message from the messenger why should Kanye lay on the cross for all celebrity designers? it was an outstanding attempt from an amatuer designer which is what he is -famous or not

  7. LocalCeleb says:

    He is also pretty cocky and known to throw a tantrum or three, he needs to earn the respent of the fashion world and it’s not going to come easy.

  8. Anonymous says:

    They need to leave Kanye alone they know he’s sensitive and hes right its not like he’s making $65 jeans available in Target and Walmart so what let the man be great!

  9. loverly says:

    That speech right there is why I love me some Kanye. He’s just so passionate and believes in everything he does so wholeheartedly. He really does give all that he has…then he keeps giving, and giving, and giving.

  10. s says:

    Boo Hoo, Kanye, he can run his mouth about everybody, but when the tables are turned he can’t hack it, do you designers trying to sing/rap, HELL NO!

  11. la mala says:

    you know, he & i don’t have the same tastes but i love the passion in that speech. esp. the last line. it’s not my cup of tea but good for him for trying to do something he loves.

  12. They won’t let him be great because… well the simply just don’t want him to be…


  13. j says:

    You know, anyone who has the gall to show at PARIS fashion week, of all places, and send a bunch of ill-fitting clothes that he had a fleet of students slap together in three days down the runway deserves the criticism. I mean, I love Kanye, and sometimes I think he is unfairly attacked, but in this case, he was asking for it.

    And for him to, in the end be like, “waah waah go easy on me?” Like my grandmother says, he better so siddung one side! It’s nice and everything that he loves fashion, but my mom makes clothes, and she has spent YEARS learning tailoring techniques, pattern making, etc. I don’t care how many runway shows you’ve sat front row at, you are NOT a fashion designer just because you interned wherever. So many young, talented designers will NEVER get a chance to show their collections at PFW, yet we need to coddle Kanye because he’s rich enough to put on a show? Spare me.

    For me, Kanye didn’t let himself be great. He had ample time to make this collection look terrific, and he didn’t. Hopefully he does better next time.

  14. t says:

    so Kanya “interned” a few places for a few months – it takes fashion students YEARS to master their craft. just like i’m sure it took years if not decades for Kanye to learn enough about music to produce the high quality albums he made. for some reason with fashion celebrities think they can skip the learning process and just start making things. i like Kanye as an artist but i think he is a cry baby and his collection was not good. the pieces were ill fitting and many of them were unwearable.

  15. Amber says:

    ditto to j. bottom line is, it wasn’t great. don’t build all this hype around yourself and your product and when people don’t like it you throw a hissy fit. no one is required to love your ish. you can’t not be part of the celebrity but yet you want to be given a pass. take the critiques you were given and learn from them. humble yourself enough to grow.

  16. t says:

    i think many celebrities are so use to being successful that they think everything they touch is suppose to turn to gold. i’m sorry but no. Even Jesus could only turn water into wine, so no one can turn shit into gold

  17. classCie says:

    I don’t know if I read the post correctly or not but my understanding was that he gave the speech after the show and not in response to the bashing that occurred the next day. Because of the reputation he has, I’m sure he expected to get a little back lash from SOMEONE. Also, being as fashion forward as he is and after doing his internships, he has to know that the industry is tough. I’m not saying this is the best thing to ever grace fashion week but this definitely wasn’t the worst I’ve seen this year from the show reviews. For Kanye to earn his respect in the fashion industry, he has to stick around, gain experience and talent, and face the adversity head on. As long as he does that and doesn’t throw b*tch fits at his reviews, he has the potential to become great in the fashion world.

  18. Marsha D says:

    Several “designers” did not go to school for fashion design….many of the ones respect too. Doesn’t make them any less respected either. I think it takes time to perfect your craft. If he’s embarking on a new venture which happens to catch his attention and he’s passionate about it..then let him rock. We might as well say the same thing about Will Smith rapper to phenomenal actor….give him a break. I wasn’t a huge fan of the line but I’m curious to see more. I don’t think Kanye really meant go easy on me…he’s been through worse critique, lol. However I notice that in this ugly business of fashion people are way too critical….and on their own tip. It’s also a very guarded industry with a gate-keeper mentality. Fashion is a form of Art, can you really tell someone how their art should be?

  19. Savage says:

    @ J!! Preach girl! Go easy my ass, this is fashion. And esp for someone who hardly comes off as humble at times (love Kanye dont get me wrong). At the end of the day, the line was poorly executed, and the clothes were uninspired..Hell they booed Tom Ford at Paris Fahion Week..Deal with it. He didn’t drop a line and work up to Paris..He debuted there and wants pity from critics and fashion snobs?

    There are talented designers who have worked decades in fashion and love it, live it, understand it, know what makes a woman look good, how it should fit and move and they will never see Paris, Milan, NY or shit even Marshall’s..Perfect your craft first.

  20. Bella says:

    I love me some Kanye and yes i commend him for taking a chance but i was completely underwhelmed by his collection. He needs to not be so cocky if he’s going to be so sensitive whenever somebody criticizes him. Just make them eat their words next time around. You have to GAIN respect especially in such a cut throat fashion world.

  21. Marsha D says:


  22. LawyerChic says:

    I agree with @BelleNoire100 anytime an musician, actor, athlete etc…tries to cross over into the fashion world––or any other genre ––there met with opposition. I don’t think its a universal scheme to thwart Kanye. On the other hand I believe Kanye’s reputation for being a divo, and sense that folks are obligated to respect his grind automatically puts his neck on the chopping block.

    I agree studying a few weeks here and there, interning sporadically does not mean Kanye took the time to hone this craft. I know Kanye has artistic abilities; he’s extremely talented. So I’d be impress to hear how he sat down and sketched designs, sewed samples, and slaved & obsessed over every detail and garment in his collection. That’s the grind of new designer that I respect. That fact that he offered his opinion to folks more qualified than him to design is not impressive. And this is coming from someone who absolutely ADORES Kanye as a rapper.

  23. PrettyGeez says:



    Give Fckn credit when it’s due!!!! A million Celebs jump in with ONE thing in mind, another business venture, aka more $$$$$.. He was really passionate about what he created and even gave it the BEST name DW (Dr. Donda West, His late mother)

    Dereon is SHxTTY. Did anyone bust caps all in Bey’s a*s for her HORRID attempt to present a Clothing line? Yet, she graced Paris (?) with a show & everyone applauded with happiness and cheer!! My point is, I think SOLELY because it’s Kanye presenting a line, they wanna chew him up. But I KNOW Kanye wont let it stop him! So let these “critics” blow it out their tail pipes, cause I know he’s FAR from done.

    in conclusion….. lol

    He’s a beginner — let him get his frickin feet wet. He isn’t gonna come out with a new line as a first time desinger & defeat and outshine ALL others in an instant. He has a long way to go, & he is well on his way.

    good day. f*ck the haters! signed, a Ye’ Stan *throws up the roc*

  24. Brittany says:

    PrettyGeez, yeah, you must be a Kanye Stan because any celebrity that has come out with a shitty line received the fair share of criticism–Beyonce included.
    The line was terrible and he got what he deserved as far as the criticism is concerned.

  25. TamaraMee says:

    This fashion show looks like it was very fun. I wonder if they were walking to something upbeat like Jessica Ferguson’s “GO” or Kesha’s “We are who we are”.

  26. fashionbaby says:


  27. Jackie says:

    I cosign with @Awomansbf07

  28. Dani says:

    I think ppl just love to go at his neck, personally. Clearly the man is Genius in MORE THAN ONE THING & that’s what they’re afraid off. To be black musically gifted & fashionably gifted is a problem. How many black designers grace Italy, Paris or ANY fashion wk shows for that matter? How many of them are black MEN? #DontWorryIllWait … Exactly. They don’t want him to be great but it’s cool b/c it seems to me… that’s all he knows how to be. I loved the line, it showed a different side of Kanye that is appreciated. I can’t wait to see what else he does. I hope this insane criticism dosent stop him from doing more.

  29. PrettyGeez says:

    LOL… the stan thing was a joke. BUT — clearly there’s a diff between criticisizing & BASHING. & I def. said i think they’re just coming for him because he’s himself, not JUST because his line wasn’t up to par… re read.

    Opinions, opinions — what would this world be without them?

    But uhh YEAAAAAHHHH…. as stated, he’s clearly just beginning & getting his feet wet. Let the critics get the belly rub they long for… tsk. Here’s a bone….


  30. Dani says:

    Oh and lets be clear… SCHOOLING DOES NOT EQUAL TALENT. It just means you’re more EDUCATED in the craft than other ppl. “Fashion students spend blah blah blah amount of time doing blah blah blah”. CHILL. There are so many WEALTHY ppl with huge companys making dough and changing lives but they didnt get not one real lick of school outside of HS. Some didn’t even graduate… some are GED recipients. Stop being so naive.

  31. [...] posted here: Why Won't The Fashion World Let Kanye Be Great? « The Fashion … [...]

  32. yusufswifee says:

    People don’t like him because he is outspoken and unapologetic. He is not America’s sweetheart. I saw nothing wrong with his line, but they will make a huge deal out of it, just like they cruicified him when he took the mic from Taylor Swift…

    I love Ye and I hope he continues to do well.

  33. Schlap says:

    He’s such a cry baby. Maybe if he poured some of that fashion into his line it would have been better.

    I personally don’t see where he’s passionate. All I see is a delusional and self-absorbed immature man who can’t handle it when people disagree with him or call him out on his shit.

  34. Schlap says:

    *edit poured passion into his line

  35. Nicole says:

    people will always hate on someone who is doing bigger better things than them. I never heard of him putting all the hype around his line…(people probably just expect it because its Kanye). but then again womenswear is very Different from menswear. & yeah alot of celebs put their names on things, but I believe that Kanye is very passionate about what he is doing. Its not JUST another way to make $ for him. Whether you liked it or not, give credit where its due.

  36. [...] this link: Why Won't The Fashion World Let Kanye Be Great? « The Fashion … • Posted by admin • Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 at 8:30 am • (0) Comment [...]

  37. trish says:

    the line kanye has looks nothing like the celeb fashion lines that flopped he came out with a pretty good start. I think the fashion industry is giving him a hard time because with a few more lines maybe in a few more years he is destined for greatness

  38. zimbabwechic says:

    One thing people have to learn in any workplace is to humble yourself and we definitely Kanye never met or understood the word humble. So what if he interned, did he do any hard work, study things from the bottom, was he a regular intern who did the jobs nobobdy else wants to do?? He had other people design sew and fit his clothes. Bullcrap! It takes more than wearing some clothes a stylist picked out for you, pretend interning at fashion houses, sitting front row at fashion shows to be a great designer. You need to train hard and long, learn it from bottom up not top down and dedicate yourself, this man did not even have clothes finished 3 days before the show. Also he gets flack because people find him an unlikeable loose character, there is saying what you feel and then being an idiot, he almost always ends looking like an idiot. If he’s running his mouth so much he needs to prove to us he is as good as he thinks he is and that was a mediocre effort that wasn’t coherent at all.

  39. whatevs says:

    why do ya’ll encourage this crybaby…

  40. Nicole says:

    As an artist, who is truly passionate about their work, it takes BALLS to put your art, your baby, on display for the public to see. It’s a moment of vulnerability. I give Ye props for allowing us to see his line, whether we liked it or not. I respect his passion.

  41. Christie says:

    LOL Claire , I like how you started this discussion , but you’ve been blogging for years and I KNOW you know this was not up to par . Kanye wants people to “chill” and be easy but the Fashion World is cut throat – end of story . look up the history of designer Tracy Reese and compare . Kanye is so uplifted by the media and society about his personal style so they automatically expected him to come out with an amazing collection .

    huh , I can go on for days … im with the Majority of the posts on this .. it was wack . thats it .

  42. I think most critics are just getting at him bc he is an easy target, but i also feel if he presented his debut collection in a more humble way (i know.. Kanye & humble do not belong in the same sentence lol!) the critics may have gone a little easier on him.

    PFW is essentially THE fashion week to present at. He shared a schedule with all of the greats – Chanel, Dior, McQueen, and his collection honestly looked like a college grad collection. To the critics it appears Kanye may think of himself to be worthy of that company and such a grand stage, and from the pics he has lifetimes before he gets there. He still could have shown in Paris but if he wouldve had a private viewing for a select group of editors/influencers/etc. he might have gotten a better response.

    Look at Victoria Beckham & the Olsens – they launched their lines with intimate showings and the fashion flock LOVES them because the know they arent designers and stay in their proverbial lane. Sean Jean womens, even though sold at SFA & Bloomingdales flamed out bc name recognition only gets you so far.

    People study design for years. Dressing well and knowing labels doesnt make you a designer the same way sitting in a garage all day doesnt make you a car. Learn you craft and leave room to grow with your audience.

  43. I’m 100% with Jihan. My boo Kan knew better–there was nothing SPECIAL about his line. If all he (and other fashion designers) had was “cute” & “sexy” pieces, he (and they) should just try collaborating with some of the cult shops like H&M, Zara, and Forever 21.

  44. dayuum_chelz says:

    i love clothes. i dont love fashion. i think fashion designers are so over hyped and the “world” of fashion is so ass backwards and “entitled” i dont lust after designer clothes or shoes. i dont watch a million and one fashion shows. nothing in the fashion industry is really interesting anymore. its all the same shit, just new season.

  45. fashion 101 says:

    First of all…to all those that think that all those Celebs that have a clothing line are really the one’s designing!…welll…NEWS FLASH! YOU ARE WRONG.. their main contribution is the money they have…. this have to stop.. designing is a lot more work then just having a little bit of taste and being able to dress in the latest trends…. and a succesfull collection is more then just a few nice pieces on the runway. theres’s a long ass creative process to go through…and trust that Kanye is not the one doing it. Nor Gwen for that matter… ( fyi…L.A.M.B design office is in montreal CANADA ) they need to stop acting like they really the ones doing the work!!!! no pity for him….he’ll get over it… the ones who are really hurt by those critics are the underdog designers working like slaves under his name…

  46. Sarah says:

    Wow so much hostility against Mr. West…I will say this for this being his first collection, it actually looked great. For a Kanye to even attempt haute status I am surprised what a feat! but I am actually proud of him look lets be real I have worked in the ins and outs of this fashion industry and main designers do not make their own patterns, the only reason why you are in that position is because you are an indie designer…he has the money he had a vision and he was able to make it come into fruition. Folks think about it, the industry is actually afraid that Kanye may inspire folks(other celebrities) to take it up a notch further. Please Beyonce of course the industry wouldn’t say anything bad about her clothes because well it won’t go anywhere. Kanye… I can see this blossom to something great let’s give him two more seasons.

  47. shonastyles says:

    The truth is i saw the collection and i was not impressed. It almost seemed liked he had Amber Rose in mind when he designed his collection and not a lot of women cannot go outside looking like that. I think he should have asked himself, who is my target audience, where is this girl going. Most of the clothes were badly executed, he tried but the collection was bad. I hope his next collection would be better.

  48. Miss Rina says:

    Where were the black models?

  49. Tami says:

    The line is horrid and who wants to wear a bunch a fabric draped over you? Its not attractive looking if you are over a size 2 #fail

  50. amber says:

    Kanye did fairly great! his pieces i’d actually buy. It was no where near the disaster with Lindsey Lohan/Ungaro. We do not need to mention what happened. I hate how people are saying he doesnt know fashion. Just because hes a rapper doesnt mean. You can have hobbies too. people let houses get away atrocities because they’re houses.

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