I don't pretend to understand Kanye West, even though I've spent a fair amount of time examining his effect on fashion. I have commissioned more stories that I can count that explore his seemingly exponential influence
within my industry (including his latest Fashion Week
antics). I have read countless thinkpieces, considered all the point-counterpoints, and listened many of my smart, thoughtful friends ascribe real meaning to Kanye's antics. Hell, when I was a college student freelancing for a now-defunct magazine and reporting my first-ever Fashion Week, West was my first interview. (For the record, he was very nice, didn't know much about faux fur, but liked my earmuffs!)
But through it all, I always thought two things: People really listen to Kanye West, but his fashion sense is kind of corny...right?
When he hopped onto leggings and leather kilts, the men's fashion community was already moving past that Rick Owens-fueled goth-gym thing. When he started going after faded neutrals and desert boots, it felt like an SSense lookbook (but from last year). From Yeezus' heavy-metal fonts to his ripped-skinny-jean obsession, it all felt like old news. But it doesn't matter when he shows up to fashion trends, because his peers aren't other fashion people. The world has seen West's style as a harbinger of what's to come for him; he is the sieve of what fashion trends really stick. While he might not have started them, he's guaranteed their popularity.
Ahead are five trends that Kanye fueled.