Just a week into 2018, Kim Kardashian revealed a rather innocuous but nonetheless fascinating nugget of insight into her marriage with Kanye West, unknowingly kicking off the year of his antics dominating the news cycle. According to Kardashian, he’s fond of emailing her fashion edicts complete with full-on mood boards, such as “You cannot wear big glasses anymore”—which came with what she described as “like, millions of ’90s photos with tiny little glasses" in attachments.
Perhaps emboldened by Kanye’s complete lack of restraint in his public comments as of late, on Monday, Kardashian elaborated even further on West as fashion control freak during a panel discussion at Business of Fashion’s inaugural BoF West summit in Los Angeles.
It’s fairly common knowledge that soon after they partnered up in 2012, West made it his mission to give Kardashian, who’d been following her former boss Paris Hilton’s lead when it came to personal style, a transformation. “I always thought I had really good style—until I met my husband and he told me that I had the worst style,” Kardashian recalled. “He was really nice about it and cleaned out my whole closet.”
Kardashian seems to have her own definition of “really nice,” since West's moves to, say, put everything in her closet that wasn’t cool enough into a pile, occasionally reduced her to tears. “I probably had 250 pairs of shoes and when we were done cleaning it out, I had two pairs left and I cried,” Kardashian said.
This is, of course, a first-world problem if there ever was one, but it does speak to West’s disrespect of personal boundaries; indeed, he engineered his final makeover of Kardashian’s closet by arranging for it to be emptied, and then filled with his own designer picks, while the pair was out at a Lakers game. Luckily, the 250 or so pairs of shoes she earned from her days as Hilton's closet organizer already forgotten, Kardashian had no hard feelings: “There were racks of clothes of designers I have never heard of before like Lanvin and Givenchy. I didn't know that then. I kept everything because it was really sentimental to me,” Kardashian said. “I wanted to learn," she added, and "when he did that, he wanted to teach me.”
From there, though, West’s authority began to waver; just because Kardashian was willing to undergo a makeover didn’t mean she was guaranteed to get one, as the pair discovered when they went to Paris “and started meeting with these people,” aka designers, only to discover that “no one would dress me.”
That is, no one except Riccardo Tisci, then creative director of Givenchy, who—sorry, Kanye—seems to be the one who really deserves the credit for Kardashian's current fashion cred. “He was the first person to really take a chance on me, and he would teach me so much about the fits and cuts and how I should wear things,” Kardashian said. From there, she became “really close” with Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing—to the point that, seeing as she couldn’t fit into the samples, Balmain “started to design things that were more curvy and that would fit someone who had more of my body type.”
Fast forward to today, and Kardashian, whom the Council of Fashion Designers of America has welcomed with open arms, has Atelier Versace at her beck and call. At the same time, their daughter North West has emerged as a burgeoning style icon at just five years old—probably because she ignores her dad when it comes to picking out her outfits.
Of course, that’s nothing compared to West’s words for his critics in the industry in the past, like ”shut the f--- up. I will f---ing laser you with alien f---ing eyes and explode your f---ing head.” Lately, though, there's been much less need for harsh words for Yeezy, which has regained some of its former popularity over the past year—funnily enough, come to think of it, ever since West started using Kardashian as his muse.