Regardless of how you feel about his fiancee on the cover of VOGUE, Kanye West was right where he belonged. Forever marching to the tune of his own hit-making drum, Yeezy has had a firm hold on the fashion game since he was a College Dropout. And whether met by hate or fanfare, Mr. West’s style bandwagon is overflowing with imitators. Need proof? Here’s Every Trend Kanye West Has Ever Started.
1. Colorful Polo shirts“Back when they thought pink polos would hurt the Roc…”
Kanye West came into the game doing his own damn thing. In a hip-hop fashion environment that praised baggy jeans, throwback jerseys and the oversized tee, Kanye pulled up to the scene in pastel Polo shirts. He put hip-hop on to the preppy look, and it hasn't looked back.
2. Louis Vuitton backpacks
The self-dubbed “Louis Vuitton Don” accessorized his pioneered preppy look with luggage from his then-favorite brand. Not long after people caught onto hip-hop’s new, cleaner look, rappers like Fabolous and even his “Big Brother” Jay Z through some LV’s on their backs.
When Kanye took the Watch The Throne tour stage in a man-skirt, hip-hop had a stroke. Dubbing him a killer of masculinity, straight up outrage ensued behind one half of The Throne’s interesting wardrobe choice. But then, Diddy, Kid Cudi and even Vin Diesel got on board. Point made.
Kanye wasn’t the first rapper with a sneaker deal, but his shoe is the only one to make every elite sneakerhead’s must-have list. In his last hurrah with Nike, a surprise release of his Red Octobers sold out in 11 minutes, marking them with eternal exclusivity. Now hype beasts are sitting on their hands to see what he does with adidas. Just wait on it.
5. Deep v-neck tees
Ain’t nothin’ wrong with a little man cleavage in Kanye’s book. After he let a tad more than usual hang out on the stage of the 2010 VMAs, celebs including Tyson Beckford and Robin Thicke were seen teasing chest hairs. Definitions of masculinity: 0, Kanye West: 2.
The first time Kanye West hit that stage in a blinged out Maison Martin Margiela mask for another round of his “inspirational talks,” people thought he was downright certifiable. Nevertheless, he continued performing with his newfound accessory right on through his entire Yeezus tour, and even cover his face in ski masks off stage. Low and behold, 2 Chainz, A$AP Rocky and French Montana all went incognito -- Kanye style -- thereafter.
7. Leather jogging pants
Not only was he one of the first to rock leather jogging pants religiously, Kanye also claims to have come up with the idea first over six years ago. And since the not-so-practical piece has become a staple in his wardrobe, everybody from Beyonce to Drake have picked up on the hype.
8. That 808s frohawk
Kanye West went through quite the phase in 2008, and besides his 808s & Heartbreak album, his hair proved it too. Rocking a afro-mohawk-mullet mash-up, Yeezy’s haircut went all retro 80s on us. But even that got picked up by someone pretty famous, namely Usher.
9. Shutter shades
Another one of Kanye’s trend-sets that was anything but practical were his shutter shades. Making appearances in his “Stronger” video and on his Glow In The Dark tour, the ribbed sunnies didn’t boast visibility, but that didn’t stop them from flying off the shelves. “The blind leading the blind,” the Kanye West version.
10. Everyday suiting
Kanye may have said that “he ain’t fuckin’ wit that ‘Suit & Tie,’” but it’s clear he meant the song and not the garment. The coming of ‘Ye ushered a clean, sophisticated look into hip-hop fashion, and he was one of the first to don blazers, shirts and dress pants outside of an award show. And we should thank him.
11. FursAll of your favorite rappers were draped in fur this past winter, but Yeezy had been telling PETA his mink is draggin’ on the floor for years prior. Rocking full-length fur coats since as far back as 2010, French Montana and DJ Khaled were all on his fashion heels. How’s that for luxury of rap?
12. Shirt around the waist
Yeezy took it back to the '90s a few years ago when he was spotted traipsing around with plaid and denim shirts tied around his waist. Later, rappers like A$AP Rocky caught on, and the trend even made it over to ladies like Rihanna. You can even see this being rocked today.
13. Haircut designs
Elaborate part designs in haircuts were reserved for throwback childhood memories before Kanye decided to resurrect the fad in 2009. Since, youngsters like Chris Brown and Soulja Boy have experimented with carved-out barbershop specialties.
14. Driving gloves
Kanye’s 808s era found him pairing suits with leather driving gloves. And while no one is necessarily missing that look, the gloves were a nice takeaway that made it to his more recent ‘fits. and rappers have found their way to imitate (see Drake’s gloves in “The Motto”)
15. Tall white tees
'Ye scratched out quite a bit of the status quo with his take on menswear, but he also brought something back: tall white tees. Remember when dudes were wearing tees down to their knees in the early 2000s? Well, that's back with a slimmer fit, of course -- thanks to Mr. West.
16. Skinny jeans
In changing the hip-hop fashion aesthetic, a slimmer fit came into play with Kanye West — namely in the denim department. Skinny jeans was another way Yeezy teeter masculine lines in men's fashion. Oh yeah, Jay Z followed suit, too.