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From McDonald’s to Ralph Lauren: 10 Brands Kanye West Absolutely Loves

6 minute read

Intrepid shoe designer, outspoken Twitter enthusiast, and self-proclaimed greatest artist of all time Kanye West doesn’t mince words about brands. If Yeezy doesn’t like something, there’s a good chance you’ll hear about it. And if Yeezy does like it, you’re guaranteed to hear about it — whether he name checks it on a song or discussed it in an interview or expounds on it during a concert or at an awards show.

While Kanye’s fashion taste skews toward the luxurious, that doesn’t mean that Mr. West is above the pleasures of the masses. Kanye’s also given a shout out to everything from the original normcore hipster destination, the Gap to the world’s most ubiquitous fast food chain, McDonald’s.

As an ode to Yeezy’s high-low taste, we’ve compiled a list of the his most memorable brand shout-outs over the years.

McDonald’s: Kanye isn’t just a fan of McDonald’s fare. He’s gone so far as to write a seemingly critical poem about the fast food empire and specifically its fries for Frank Ocean’s ‘zine, Boys Don’t Cry, which was accompanied by an editorial of him going to Mickey D’s in his Lamborghini, as one does. There’s also this tweet, which pretty much says it all.

Louis Vuitton: Early ‘Ye loved his Louis. Not only did he infamously tote a Louis Vuitton backpack while rocking a pink polo, he even went so far as to refer to himself as the “Louis Vuitton Don” on his breakout album, The College Dropout. Later, Kanye would go on to have a wildly popular sneaker collaboration with Louis Vuitton.

The Gap: Kanye has made it no secret that he’s a big fan of Mickey Drexler’s former work at the Gap; apparently, working retail there was one of ‘Ye’s first jobs in high school. In a 2015 interview with Style.com, West revealed that he has long-term ambitions for the brand that has always specialized in basics. “One of my dreams was to be the head creative director of the Gap,” he said. “I’d like to be the Steve Jobs of the Gap.”

Polo Ralph Lauren: Polo is probably the most referenced brand in Kanye’s discography, going all the way back to his pink polo from “All Falls Down.” Kanye used his early affinity for pastel polo shirts and Polo Ralph Lauren sweaters as a way to differentiate himself from his peers in the hip hop community and later uses it as way to talk about his evolution, both musically and sartorially. Aside from wearing Polo, West has long revered Ralph Lauren, the designer, comparing him to innovators such as Walt Disney, and famously telling Sway that of his own clothing line, “it ain’t Ralph, though.” He later told Style.com that “Ralph is the god. And that’s all I want to say about Ralph.” A few days after the interview, West met his hero while sitting front row at the Ralph Lauren show during NYFW; he later told The New York Time’s T Magazine that Lauren had said, “This is my son,” at which point West said, “I knew it! I knew Ralph was my daddy!”

Hermès: In addition to the Gap, at his Yeezy 3 Presentation, he also expressed a desire to be the creative director of Hermès; previously he had told W that “visiting my mind is like visiting the Hermès factory. S–t is real.” Shortly after his Yeezy presentation declarations, he reiterated his Hermes ambitions on Twitter.

Givenchy: Kanye’s always been a supporter of Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci and the two have collaborated together. Tisci designed Kim Kardashian West’s wedding dress as well as some of her Met Gala looks and the Kardashian West family is often seen as a unit at his runway shows. Aside from fashion, Tisci was the art advisor on West and Jay Z’s Watch the Throne album and provided the wardrobe for their tour, including custom Givenchy tees.

Givenchy : Backstage - Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015
PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 28: (L-R) Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, their daughter North West, Mother of Kim Kardashian, Kris Jenner and Fashion designer Riccardo Tisci pose backstage after the Givenchy show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015 on September 28, 2014 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/French Select/Getty Images)Bertrand Rindoff Petroff—French Select/Getty Images

Celine: Kanye is such a big fan of the hot minimalist French label that he eschewed gender norms and donned one of their women’s silk shirts for his Coachella performance in 2011. Since then, Kim K’s worn the brand, and he notably name-checked Celine creative director Phoebe Philo on “Dark Fantasy.”

Ikea: Although the Swedish furniture giant turned down Kanye’s request according to BBC Radio One to design for them (“I have to work with IKEA – make furniture for interior design, for architecture…”), fans still hold out hope for a future collaboration. This wasn’t the first time that ‘Ye has showed some major appreciation for the brand; he tweeted about an inspiring trip to Ikea earlier.

Balmain: Kimye maintains a close personal relationship collectively with Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing, whose duck face makes frequent appearances on Kardashian-Jenner selfies/Instagrams/Snapchats. He designed Kim and Kanye’s looks for this year’s Met Gala and collaborated on custom Yeezy x Balmain looks for the Kardashian-Jenner family to wear to the Yeezy Season 3 presentation. His biggest collaborations to date, however, was the Steven Klein-directed video of Balmain-clad models (plus Kimye), crying for “Wolves,” that served as a debut for Balmain’s Fall ’16 collection as well as an official music video for Kanye.

Adidas x Yeezy: Of course, Yeezy’s favorite brand is designed by none other than himself. He’s already debuted three full seasons of Yeezy x Adidas Originals ready-to-wear and shoes, the post-apocalyptic aesthetics of which appear to be heavily inspired by the planet of Tatooine, Mad Max and Haider Ackerman. His shoes (the wildly popular Yeezy 350 and Yeezy 750) have been the runaway successes of his line so far, however, which ‘Ye acknowledges modestly in his song,”Facts.”

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Write to Cady Lang at cady.lang@timemagazine.com