Presidential candidates need to state their positions early and take a firm stand to rise above the noise. Think Bernie Sanders, with his single-payer healthcare system, or Donald Trump, with his constantly calling everyone ugly. So it just makes sense that 2020 presidential candidate Kanye West is already staking his claim to an issue he feels is not being taken seriously enough in this country: The importance of sweatshirts.
“I think sweatshirts are the way of the future,” he says in an interview with Vanity Fair about his most recent Fashion Week showing. “And we worked so hard on our development of our actual sweatshirts … Sweatshirts are f—ing important. That might sound like the funniest quote ever. How can you say all this stuff about running for president in 2020 and then say sweatshirts are important? But they are. Just mark my words. Mark my words like Mark Twain.”
So um, about that presidential run. Is he … serious? “Oh, definitely,” he says, adding that the public reception to the idea has been very positive. “As soon as I said that, it was like, ‘Wait a second, we would really be into that, because actually if you think about it, he’s extremely thoughtful. Every time he’s ever gotten in trouble, he was really jumping in front of a bullet for someone else. He’s probably the most honest celebrity that we have.’ I didn’t approach that because I thought it would be fun. It wasn’t like, Oh, let’s go rent some jet skis in Hawaii. No, the exact opposite. I sit in clubs and I’m like, Wow, I’ve got five years before I go and run for office and I’ve got a lot of research to do, I’ve got a lot of growing up to do.”
There is one constituency he’d have to win over, though, and that’s the designers who were upset for West for crash-landing on their time slot in the middle of fashion week for his celeb-studded show. “I totally apologize to any of those designers and anyone that wanted that slot. I would love to send them some flowers or maybe wear a sweatshirt if that could help to make up for it,” he says. “A lot of times I feel like Will Ferrell in the movie Elf. You know this big guy that wants to [join in] and his hands are a little bit too big.”
And West has also thought about his general platform, which involves him remaining a fashion designer surrounded by “amazing creatives,” he says: “It’s very important that I continue to design, to be in practice of trying to make the best decisions possible. I hate politics. I’m not a politician at all. I care about the truth and I just care about human beings. I just want everyone to win, that’s all I can say.”
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For much more on West’s thoughts about why Michaelangelo would design shoes and whether Yeezy Boost 350s will revolutionize the future of the footwear industry (spoiler: yes), click here, then tell us: Are sweatshirts f—ing important?
— Alex Apatoff