January 23, 2009 05:00 PM

Courtesy Louis Vuitton

Kanye West has officially turned sneaker designer. The hip-hop star and self-proclaimed Louis Vuitton Don turned his love of sneakers — he has over 400 pairs! — into a high-end collaboration with Louis Vuitton. Out of the five styles he’s created for the iconic brand, a style with a quilted back debuted during the line’s fall menswear presentation in Paris yesterday. After the show, WWD caught up with the new footwear designer to hear more. “I was inspired by the movie Dune. The collection had all these jackets that were very padded. They looked like maybe they had hockey pads in the jacket, and there was one where the collar came up really high. I took that element, and I put that on the back of the shoe. It’s like the opposite of the tongue. Usually you have the tongue at the front. [This is] like a tongue at the back,” explained Kanye. Working with Marc Jacobs, Kanye’s favorite designer whom he dubs the Jay-Z of the fashion world, was a blessing. “To me, Louis Vuitton is the most important brand in fashion. I am proud to have collaborated with LV on these shoes and even more proud of the finished product,” the artist says in a statement. On the flip side, Marc Jacobs tells WWD that he was impressed by Kanye’s dedication to his work, saying “I think Kanye goes to the office more than I do. He’s really, really into sneakers.” The complete Kanye West collection will be available at Louis Vuitton stores in June 2009. Tell us: What do you think of Kanye’s design?

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