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Friday, October 7, 2011

The musically talented but otherwise insufferable Kanye “Gay Fish” West showed his first line of women’s clothing in Paris on Saturday, earning reviews such as “Good thing Kanye West has a day job.

I’ve become inured to random-ass celebrities who deem themselves qualified to launch clothing and jewelry lines to great fanfare just because they’ve worn clothing and jewelry. Hey, I think if you have a chance to make money for nothing, you should take it. I would. So let Gwen Stefani talk about her experiences designing her line while skipping her presentation. It’s okay with me if Lindsay Lohan makes a mockery of a 45-year-old fashion house. And why shouldn’t hosting Top Chef make your jewelry worthy of being sold at one of my favorite stores, Bergdorf Goodman? (Note to self: Get reality-TV gig so I can get into Bergdorf too. Jersey Shore producers, call me!) Once in a while some real talent emerges. The Olsen twins have done a nice job with their luxury line, The Row, not that I’ve ever had a desire to buy one of their haute-grunge pieces. Even in the other cases — remember Jennifer Lopez’s Sweetface line? — celebrity-driven companies employ experienced designers and other industry professionals, and I’m always happy if my friends manage to be gainfully employed that way.

So if Kanye had just done his thing and kept his mouth shut, I wouldn’t have felt any schadenfreude about his reviews.

But Kanye is incapable of keeping his mouth shut.

Kanye's 2009 Taylor Swift attack wasn't his first public rant. Photo via MTV.com. Click for source and more info.

After his celebrity-attended Paris show — an opportunity some of my designing friends with 20 years experience would give a right arm for — he used his celebrity-attended after-party to yell at the world for being  too hard on him. As WWD initially reported, he said:

“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.

The amount of people that tried to get me a celebrity f—ing deal. They said, ‘You need to do boot-cut jeans, or you won’t sell.’ Shut the f— up ! Or Hedi Slimane in the motherf—ing Mercer, sitting with me, saying, ‘Stop giving them your ideas, Kanye. Do your own thing.’ Hedi Slimane! To feel so frustrated. And I thank anybody who came to this party, everybody who supported, everybody who believed, because people thought it was a joke, and maybe people still do, but I can only grow from this point.”

This is precious. Next time I have a less-than-satisfactory meeting with a store buyer (“We’re going in a different direction,” “Contact us next season,” “It’s too similar to what we have, but also too different”), I’m going to say, “Please be easy. Please give me a chance to grow. This is not some celebrity shit!” But what was even more precious was the scathing article in yesterday’s New York Times by Eric Wilson. The headline: “Kanye West, Designer (Yawn).” There are so many good parts to this article. Noting Kanye’s remarks “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,” Wilson responds:

“If that is true, Mr. West faces bigger obstacles in life than credit-card debt.”

Ha! Meanwhile, poor Joe Zee, the creative director of Elle, was cornered by Kanye at the Céline show, where, Wilson writes, Kanye engaged him “… in a lengthy dialogue, loud enough for everyone around them to hear, in which he noted, as one example, that he did not very much appreciate the criticism of his decision to show fur for summer.” Hilariously, Joe Zee told Wilson that the diatribe was unexpected: “All I said was congratulations,” Zee said. “I wasn’t even there.”

Long Nguyen, the style director of Flaunt magazine, is quoted as saying, “There are wishes, and there are realities … But you can’t just dump some fox fur on a runway and call it luxury.” Wilson found Carine Roitfeld, the former French Vogue editor, to be more sympathetic. She said, “He tried hard, and he wants to learn.” (I eagerly await the day a magazine editor or store buyer says that I too deserve an A for effort. Get your sweaters ready, because hell will freeze over before that happens.)  U.S. Vogue editor Anna Wintour’s comment on Kanye was much better:

“Ask someone else.”

Oh, Anna, I think I’m in love with you. “Ask someone else.” It says it all and it’s so versatile. It can be used as a response to nearly anything. I should know — it was probably my most-used phrase during 16 years of not wanting to be fucking bothered in the corporate world. It would look nice on a business card. If I didn’t already have “Wear What You Want” as my blog’s motto, I would use, “Ask Someone Else.” In fact, I’m only going to answer one more question EVER and it’s this one: “Who should Kanye design for?” That’s obvious! Summer’s Eve. Because even though he’s worn a lot of clothes and a lot of jewelry, his experience with douchebaggery trumps all else. Writers are always told “write what you know,” and I think Kanye should design what he knows. Any other questions? Ask someone else!

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28 Responses to “Anna Wintour’s Genius Comment About Kanye West”

  1. Cameron says:

    Sounds like Mr. Massengill needs to have the boots put to him medium-style. Actually, I can sum up his rant as such:

    tl;dr: Look world, Imma let you finish, but my collection is the best spring collection of all time BAAAAAAAWWWWWWWW!!!

    At which point I would kick him in the balls, ’cause I don’t care about Kanye. 😉

  2. Piper says:

    All I can say to this is ab-so-fucking-lutely. When you have every foot in the door in the world and you don’t do well, don’t blame others. I think today more than ever, people have a mogul-attitude whereby they want to be great at everything. No one is King Midas and no one is good at everything. 

    That is especially true when one’s ego is so massively, great-wall-of-China-wide, that one can’t listen and grow out if a place of earnest humility.

     I feel badly that he had a disappointing show because that’s embarrassing for anyone. But not that bad – because I know – I KNOW – that an-up-and-coming designer who’s eating the same shitty tacos night after night because they’re following their dream and working toward it would MAKE IT HAPPEN if they had that chance. 

    Generally speaking, most of the people who are given the lift into the door don’t produce as well as those who worked for it. That’s true for celebrity singers, actors of Hollywood ‘royalty’ and it’s true here. 

  3. Eli says:

    Your lead up to her response just made me laugh so hard.

    Hasnt Kanye seen the episode of MTV True Life about Fashion Week or the movie Seamless? Showing at Fashion Week is HARD work, you start at the bottom and work your way up. Who ever advised him on the show steered him wrong. You’re starting out, that’s fine. But don’t be cocky and entitled and f***

  4. Sally says:

    That Kanye. Always a class act.

    This is such a great summary of all the post-show buzz. And you’re right, of course, Anna’s comment takes the cake!

  5. Lara says:

    I bet Anna’s comment stung worse than any other review he read and that’s what counts when you know when to keep your mouth shut. Love her.

  6. Susan Tiner says:

    What fun catching up on all of this fascinating mishegas. The more I learn about Ann Wintour the more I love her, love her excellent editing. It’s an art!

  7. Poochie says:

    This post was AWESOME!

  8. Jennifer says:

    summers eve! you are a genius! loved your post! xoxo, j

  9. The Styley says:

    I loved every word of this post. Appropriately enough, my anti-spam word is “spoiled.”

  10. stacy says:

    Anna is clever, Eric is brilliant and Kanye is disgraceful. That pretty much sums it up!

  11. stacy says:

    …wait, I’m not done yet! WTF was Kanye even doing at Celine??? Why would they let him in? And Joe Zee’s comment was priceless, “I wasn’t even there!” So, obviously, Kanye is so full of himself he just assumed that Mr. Zee had to have been in the audience to see his AMAZING show that he spent his life savings on!

  12. Loree says:

    Hilarious and fantastically written. True dat! And thanks for leading me to this blog Stacy.

  13. this is simply embarassing

    he got a “mother*******” loan to get the best designers, etc ?????

    the press was easy on him

    one presumes that the store buyer’s glazed eyes went easy on him, wished him a lovely day, and fled because there is an expectation that clothes can fit, make sense and can stand on their own

    isn’t there a review board of new “designers” before they step out? and I mean that kindly

    it seemed like a nice idea to gather the kids from st martin but .. what happened?

    I read Susie Bubble’s post about him with fascination, comparing his efforts to produce a collection (for sale?) to beginning a blog. I very much enjoy her writing but think she got that wrong. Great designers can go on a tangent and be ignored, cringe-worthy collections don’t sell: there are no excuses. Armani produced an early collection – and was lambasted because who would wear a jacket with shorts to the office. He also made skirts but that was one of those fights with Michael Coady and zero coverage.

    He was reviewed. He should be grateful and send profuse thanks to people who said it doesn’t work.

  14. Tanvi says:

    Gotta love Anna! 🙂 …

  15. Lynette says:

    I just looked at the photos of the clothing. Boring. Repetitive.

    Another thing that I don’t get about celebrities, WendyB, is why they create perfume? Scents? Whatever they call it.

  16. Ophelia says:

    Anna is superb!

  17. Most designers, of course, never have to take out a loan to launch a fashion line.

    Best overview I’ve read of the whole sorry tale, you rock WB.

  18. Kathy says:

    I don’t follow today’s music people so when I first saw his name in print I pronounced it “Cayenne” and have been doing so ever since. MFing gay fish. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Interestingly enuff, I’m making fish cakes as we speak! And my security word is Madonna. All is right in my world.

  19. Tina says:

    I’m totally using that line at work form now on.

  20. Well said. I’m going to use that Anna Wintour line.

  21. Mardel says:

    Well said. I’m liking Anna Wintour more and more.

  22. tina m says:

    My anti-spam word is shutup which is totally fitting. Are you listening, Kanye??????

  23. Paula says:

    Ha ha–love this post! Its just so hard to make it in fashion, and when someone just uses their fame rather than their talent, well, its almost unjust. Kudos to Anna for her utterly cool response.

  24. Sylvia says:

    What a great article Wendy. You really tell it like it is. Still great to have people like Kanye though. Gives us something so talk and laugh about…