Since Kanye West launched his Yeezy label back in 2014, the rapper/designer/literal cult personality has been outspoken about the lack of help marginalised creatives are offered (and diversity issues aren’t exactly unheard of in the fashion industry).
Now, though, Kanye himself is taking steps to help out emerging designers, setting up an incubator program to offer them financial assistance. The incubator will also provide mentoring opportunities and shared resources in not just fashion, but also design and other creative industries.
In fact, the recipient of the first grant has already been revealed: a Parsons grad and former Yeezy womenswear designer, Maisie Schloss, from Chicago (a city close to Kanye’s heart).
“Yeezy is a really special environment for growing and developing a career,” Schloss tellsVogue of her time at the label. “When I started I was just an assistant, but the highly creative and unconventional atmosphere allowed for me to have visibility and input in a wide variety of projects.”
The designer will launch her brand, Masie Wilen, next week in LA, then later in the month in Paris.
On the subject of West’s support, she says: “Kanye very generously offered to support me; he truly cares about sharing resources, creating opportunities for creatives to grow and be recognized.”