Imagine a world where Kanye West is the President of the United States.
I can hear you scream.
Not in the sense that political pundits understand it, more in a less risky but Oh so influential position.
Before some go into celebrating MAGA and Trump’s reelection, let’s take a look at what Mr West has to offer in 2024.
Kanye West is a person who showed the world that he is creative, unpredictable, capable and an innovator. I, among many others, did not see Kanye’s trajectory from the producer rank to a brand mogul.
2024 i.e. in three years time, the world will be set on Paris’ time for the 2024 Olympics & Paralympics games. So, many things have been written about Ralph Lauren’s outfit (some funny I must admit) that brought the subject that maybe the US should change Ralph Lauren’s outfit to reflect America’s diversity.
Ralph Lauren is a brand that is now associated with its country of origin — the flag is everywhere. The USA does have a couple of fashion influencers that could shape a new fashion trajectory .
Enters Kanye West, by then, who knows? He will be seated on the board of the Coca Cola Company and changing the world one venture at the time. But on this one, let’s focus on fashion.
Kanye West signed a 10-year deal for ‘Yeezy Gap’ apparel line and having the city of Paris (N** In Paris anyone?) as your runway is the best thing that could happen to Yeezy as well as for Gap Inc. In my opinion, the RL company has been doing well; the thing is that the management have not seen the culture change but in all fairness, the outfit must have been designed before 2020 meaning before the social unrest that started at the beginning of 2020.
On one hand, Ralph Lauren’s company has always had an unease with its urban consumers that it created friction but somehow African Americans are still taken by the brand for what it represents : the Yacht, the Pony, the holiday house etc. Ralph Lauren, the person, has 50 years of experience of understanding and distilling the aspirational wealth.
Some tweets suggesting that the Olympics uniform reminds them of a white wealthy individual vacationing in Montauk is hilarious. While this could be true, when you see the roster for the Olympics, few fit that description.
Ralph Lauren, the company, has been given many opportunities to showcase its vision of America and it seems like it no longer correlates with the national sentiment.
On the other hand, Kanye West has been pushing boundaries in the fashion industry; although I may not understand everything, one must appreciate the hype surrounding Ye’s products from the shoes, the music and now the Gap collection.
Kanye’s products like many are mainly made in China but to counter this diplomatic hiccup, I can see a collaboration with New Balance, an US company based in Massachusetts tag along with Ronnie Fieg, the sneaker master designer to bring more hype along the way. It’s my belief that the clothing and the shoe collections will instantly become collectible. Complex Magazine, Stockx, I see you!
Here is a new way of including more backgrounds and giving space to new people; why not deliver a NFT for Paris 2024? Wow, this idea is fire!
Plus, Kanye is a Black Republican so it feels like cutting the pie in two. Everybody should be happy. By everybody, I mean hopefully 50%.
What most fashionistas will remember from the Olympics opening is the Liberian outfit. I am willing to bet that 90% (outside of Liberians I hope) could not locate the country on a map but thanks to Telfar Clemens , a Liberian — American designer, he put the small country on the map; he won the unofficial gold medal. The fashion industry is full of people who are from Africa or of African descent and the continent should made aware of this untapped potential : Imane Ayissi & Christian Louboutin from Cameroun, Virgil Abloh from Ghana, Olivier Rousteing from Eritrea & Ethiopia, Sarah Diouf from Senegal, Adebayo Oke-Lawal from Nigeria and many more. Let’s bring more women in the team, please.
In the meantime, maybe this will give space for Ralph Lauren to reinvent itself: urban or country club, hype or classic style etc.
Somehow, I do see some similarities between Kanye and Ralph, both started in the fashion industry and were laughed at but work, persistence brought them to the summit; maybe this time, Kanye is the new Ralph Lauren and Ralph Lauren is our Brooks Brothers.