Kanye started out the year in a straitjacket and Yeti mask. It was a good indication of how the rest of 2013 would play out for him: the more he pushed to make people understand his avant aspirations (see his interactions with Zane Lowe, Sway and Jimmy Kimmel), the crazier he was made out to be. The rap world told him you’re too far out and the fashion industry said you’re not commercial enough. Case in point: the now-ubiquitous leather jogging pant that Ye tried to bring to Fendi six years ago. (The art world, meanwhile, was more accepting.)
So Kanye’s year, despite a critically-acclaimed album, may be best remembered for his public monologues. He’d fly off the handle at everyone from Louis Vuitton to Zappos, Vogue, Barneys New York, Nike, and even worked those rants into each night of his Yeezus tour. One of the frequent targets of his scorn was Hedi Slimane, who inspired “I Am A God” after the Saint Laurent head tried to restrict what Paris Fashion Week shows the rapper attended.
When Kanye collaborated with the fashion world he was also cantankerous: he abruptly severed ties with Nike after a successful run of the Air Yeezy—they refused to release the second, the Red Octobers, a pair of red sneakers that he paired with his custom Maison Martin Margiela wardrobe on tour—and was allegedly difficult to work with at A.P.C., where he created a wildly overpriced capsule collection of basics. But, there’s hope for Ye yet. A.P.C. founder Jean Touitou recently revealed that their next collaboration is in the works and Kanye is already working on a full line for Adidas which will drop next September.