"I'm working with five architects
at a time" - Kanye West

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"I'm working with five architects at a time" - Kanye West

News: rapper Kanye West has revealed he is frustrated he's not taken seriously as a "real designer" and that he plans to move into architecture.

In an interview on BBC Radio 1 last night, West spoke to DJ Zane Lowe about how he wants to expand his creative field beyond music and fashion.

"I want to do product, I am a product person," said West. "Not just clothing but water bottle design, architecture... I make music but I shouldn't be limited to once place of creativity."

The interview was originally intended to be about his latest album Yeezus but West spoke about his creative passions and ambition throughout: "I hang around architects mostly," he said. "People that wanna make things as dope as possible."

"I'm learning what I want," he said. "This is the reason why I'm working with five architects at a time. The time spent in a bad apartment, I can't get that back. But the education I can get from working on it is priceless."

Air Yeezy trainers by Kanye West for Nike
Air Yeezy trainers by Kanye West for Nike

West has already established himself as a fashion designer, having released his Air Yeezy trainers for Nike in 2009 and showed his DW Kanye West womenswear collections at Paris Fashion Week. "I spend 80% of my time on [fashion design] and 20% of my time on music," he explained.

He said he started designing trainers at the age of five: "I've got a very particular specific take on men's footwear. No one can say I can't design or don't know how to design a guy's sneaker."

However, West was disappointed Nike didn't extend his trainer line after 2011 even though pairs of his Air Yeezy trainers "eBayed for $90,000". He also claimed to be knocked back by Fendi after taking his designs for tight leather trousers to the Italian fashion house.

West vented his frustration that as a musician he is not taken seriously in the fashion world. "I'm so frustrated," he said. "I've got ideas on colour palettes, I've got ideas on silhouettes. I've got a million people telling me why I can't do it, that I'm not a real designer."

He spoke of his resentment that musicians' forays into fashion design are limited to tour paraphernalia. "We're making product with chitlin'. T-shirts, that's the most we can make. T-shirts. We can have our best perspective on T-shirts but anything else and your Truman Show boat is hitting the wall."

Seven-screen pavilion by OMA for Kanye West

Design collaborations he mentioned included his Watch the Throne tour set design with production designer Es Devlin and the pyramid-shaped cinema by architects OMA, where his first short film was screened at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.

Last week graphic designer Peter Saville disclosed he is working on a new visual identity for West, saying the rapper "wants me to do a YSL".

West announced he was to launch his own design company named DONDA early last year and hoped to assemble a team of architects, designers and directors to work with him.

Dezeen featured renderings of West's New York apartment designed by architect Claudio Silverstrin in 2007. See all our stories about Kanye West »

Main image of Kanye West is courtesy of Shutterstock.

  • Annie Vu

    SOMEONE STOP HIM! Architecture cannot become mainstream, like Lady Gaga and all the jokes, oh my God.

  • Paul Jannetta

    Kanye West needs to remember to rhyme all the noises that come from his face. It’s what he does and the more he doesn’t do it the more of this blah blah blah hanging round too many yes people will happen. Hanging with architects and being all bohemian… Get a grip dude. Not that he needs to, but DUDE.