Since today is Kanye’s 35th birthday, I thought there’s no better way to celebrate this fashion icon than to go over his evolving style through the years. He has influenced not only hip-hop, but hip-hop fashion, paving the wave for the new generation to mix in high fashion with their hip hop street style.
2002 – 2004
This was the College Dropout era. Kanye’s style was polo shirts and Louis Vuitton backpacks. He stilled donned the baggy jeans and jerseys, and was defintiely dressing for that time – the early 2000s.
2005 – 2006
This was the Late Registration era. Kanye let go of his baggy style and really started exploring different looks, brands and styles. Fast forward to 2006 at the Grammy Awards, and ‘Ye worked a 3 piece tuxedo with pink lapels, a satin shirt, white gloves and white sneakers. This was only the beginning for Kanye’s experimentation with fashion.
This is the Graduation “Shutter Shades” era. I actually shudder when I see people still wearing them. Kanye was mixing streetwear brands like Bathing Ape with high fashion brands like Fendi. Kanye can been seen below wearing those ridiculous Shutter shades with a Fendi t-shirt.
2008 – 2009
This is the 808s and Heartbreak era. Kanye was using autotune, he grew a mullet and he previewed the clothing line Pastelle. As for his style at this time, he wore a lot of varsity jackets, sweatshirts and orange, but he also kept his outfits simple – slim fit jeans and sneakers. Kanye was also experimenting with tailoring during this time, even leaving his streetwear style in the closet.
I had to give a separate paragraph just for the “Fashion Show” Kanye. He was jet setting to Paris and attended all of the fashion shows. How can we forget the pictures of his entire crew styled extravagantly, yet elegantly. Who can forget the day he wore that red blazer with the Goyard briefcase in hand. Fashion statements were being made and this is where Kanye was being noticed by everyone, not just hip hop as a fashion icon.
2009 – 2010
The Kanye and Amber Rose era. With his hiatus from music, a new relationship, he was involved with fashion more than ever. This is where Kanye really left the streetwear scene behind and started wearing more high fashion labels like YSL. Kanye collaborated with Louis Vuitton during this time designing his own shoe, as well as took on an internship with Fendi in Rome. In early 2009, Kanye teamed up with Nike Inc. to release the Air Yeezy’s in 4 colorways. Who else can go from working with Nike and Louis Vuitton in the same year selling out both designs?
Kanye put out a short film called “Runaway” which showed his new found sense of sophistication and style. He traded all the t-shirts, jeans and leather jackets for tailored tuxedos, shirts from designers such as Phillip Lim and loafers. He also started wearing a lot of big gold chains. At the black tie premiere for the movie, he opted for no tie and a big statement multi-string gold chain. Who can forget Kanye at the 2010 BET awards wearing a red suit, no shirt, no tie and just a BIG chain!?! This is when Kanye really marked his return to the spotlight and music.
Kanye debuted his highly anticipated woman’s fashion line, DW, named after his mother, at Paris fashion week in late 2011. The fashion line is high end, with a lot of neutrals, furs and leather and is very chic. Kanye West’s style right now is very clean and high end. He mixes in a lot of high fashion and still makes his streetwear statements.
Below is a picture of Kanye looking very casual yet clean. A jean button up shirt, fitted jeans and his Air Yeezy shoes. Kanye is set to release his Air Yeezy 2′s tomorrow. This is a highly sought after shoe with a $245 price point that made news this week selling on eBay for over $90,000!
Kanye is a style icon. A fashion genius. He’s always been ahead of the fashion game and even though his look are out there sometimes, only he could pull them off. Hats off to you Mr.West.
Love the ladies of BadPerm