Here’s hoping that Kanye West gets all the rest he needs to overcome the massive sleep deficit that sent him from a concert stage to an ICU. In the meantime we can’t overlook the fact that the rapper turned design house boss turned furniture designer wrestles with both demons and ideas. That doesn’t take away from the clarity West found when he told young design students that “design can change the world.”
Fast-forward to a series of events that out of context could be misconstrued as West being West. Instead, they should be looked at for what they are. Kanye West wants great things in his home and in his life. In August, Yeezy talked up a furniture design he wanted to bring to IKEA as an inaugural collaboration between rap giant and furniture giant. IKEA Australia gladly seized the bull by the horns and rendered a mock-up of what the furniture would look like: a large bed (not unlike the one in his Famous video) that could be assembled by piecing two large frames together.
At the same time, West had been hard at work sourcing appropriate pieces for his Calabasas home, not to be confused with his Bel Air home redesigned in tandem with Romanian architect Oana Stanescu of Family Architects. Some of the ideas were fresh ones bounced off of him from architectural icons and peers that may or may not form a part of the secretive inner circle otherwise known as Design house Donda. But what is sure is that interior designer Sandy Gallin was tasked with finding the goods to fill the palatial estate. And as of the tail end of November, that working relationship hasn’t sailed so smoothly.
According to numerous sources, West tried to send back all of the furniture that Gallin curated for the home, but the vendors were having none of it. And so West, who would rather not have the pieces in his home, lumped them all in storage. Design fans the world over may remember that one piece in particular included a $30,000 couch, among other pricey furniture pieces for the home.
If we are to go by West’s design aesthetic and what he proposed for IKEA, rejecting Gallin’s choices was not another Kanye “breakdown” but rather West remaining faithful to the minimalist aesthetic Donda is known for and what his idea for IKEA clearly exhibited. While Kanye has openly gushed over furniture designers Le Corbusier and Living Divani and accessories such as Hermes plates, West’s own furniture design is much more subdued, less bling and simply more accessible. Easy to see why IKEA Australia was quick to get on board.
West even appealed to IKEA directly during an interview with the BBC. “I have to work with IKEA – make furniture for interior design, for architecture. Yo IKEA, allow Kanye to create, allow him to make this thing because you know what, I want a bed that he makes, I want a chair that he makes.”