Kanye West recently launched a grant for the budding talents out there. This included mentorship along with financial assistance for the designers from all over the world. West has always tried to include young artists in his ventures- including the Yeezy’s, and this time he has officially launched a platform for the people to exhibit their skills and lean towards a better future.
The 41-year-old rapper has been in the fashion business for a long time. He has worked with different multinational companies and is currently in business with Adidas. Kanye initially designed a shoe for Adidas; however, it was never taken to the market. The first brand to officially affiliate itself with Kanye West was a shoe line called “Bape”. Bape and West, together, released a pair of Bapesta “College Dropout” shoes in January 2007. These were inspired by Kanye’s studio album, “College dropout”. This was his first venture in collaboration with another company. Before this, he used to design his shoes from ground up, all by himself. The shoes were a great hit and were sold at $212 per pair, earning them a great fortune.
Kanye also worked with Louis Vuitton and Nike, however, he ended the 5-year long collaboration with the latter company due to his unfulfilled demands, in 2013. He had successfully released three sneaker styles under the company’s name by then. Later, he reached out to Adidas and officially came into business with them.
After almost a year and a half, the West-Adidas collaboration officially debuted “Yeezy season 1” on 29th October 2015. Yeezy initially had a footwear and an apparel line, with prices ranging from $600 for sweatpants and $3000 for jackets. However, the apparel wasn’t as much a success as the footwear which sold out quickly. Even celebrities like Diddy, Rihanna and Kim Kardashian were seen wearing and promoting them. After the “Yeezy season 1” show, Adidas officially announced that they would only collaborate with Yeezy footwear. Since then, 7 different models of Yeezy’s have been released.
Since the beginning, Kanye has tried to involve plenty of young creatives in his work, mentoring and guiding them to better utilize their talents for a successful future. In a tweet in 2018, he said , “As a creative your ideas are your strongest form of currency”. This clearly showed his support and admiration for all the budding creatives out there. No matter what the idea, it’s always worth something. Some of Kanye’s mentees include archivist David Casanvant, stylist Ursina Gysi, Virgil Abloh and Jerry Lorenzo.
As a creative your ideas are your strongest form of currency
— ye (@kanyewest) April 17, 2018
In the hopes of providing opportunities to the young talent out there, he recently launched an incubator program that provides financial aid and mentorship to aspiring designers, artists, musicians and more.
The first recipient of the grant is Masie Schloss. She was born in Chicago and gradated from Parsons School of Design. Masie was also a former Yeezy employee, working as a creative director for the Yeezy womenswear design team. In an email to Vogue, Masie said, “Yeezy is a really special environment for growing and developing a career. When I started, I was just an assistant, but the highly creative and unconventional atmosphere allowed for me to have visibility and input in a wide variety of projects”. She further praised Kanye for his generosity and kind nature, saying, “Kanye very generously offered to support me; he truly cares about sharing resources, creating opportunities for creatives to grow and be recognized”.
Schloss will be launching her first brand called Masie Wilen, in the coming week in Los Angeles. It will be at an exclusive family and friends only party, however, she’s known to hold another launch in Paris at the end of this month. According to several reports, it will be a full Resort collection of 85 pieces, ranging from $100 to $950. About her brand, Masie says, “My first collection is inspired by rhythmic gymnastics and robotics, specifically studying how elegant fluidity emerges from rigid systems. Strongly driven by print, the clothes themselves are playful and fashion-forward but rooted in very wearable shapes”.