Ten years before Yeezus, the self-appointed Louis Vuitton Don was photographed for the cover of The Fader’s Inaugural ‘Now’ issue. These previously unreleased photos are outtakes from that shoot with Hip-hop photographer Jonathan Mannion (who famously photographed Jay-Z’s cover for Reasonable Doubt). Jonathan reflects on the experience of meeting and photographing Yeezy that day:
“At that point Kanye was already building his legacy. Already at that point all eyes were on him. Cause even before dropping that first album, he’d claimed it, he wasn’t accepting no for an answer. I think The FADER showed a lot of foresight by saying, Okay, you’re our guy, you’re on the cover, let’s go.
Kanye styled himself that day, there wasn’t a stylist. I remember he wanted props, things that represented his style. A Louis Vuitton bag showed up and he told a story, “I tried to get a bunch of Louis stuff and they wouldn’t send it to me, so I just bought it.” Whether it was that bag he bought or a big clump of Louis Vuitton luggage he wanted to stand on, he wanted it to be LV to show what he appreciated. I remember his “If I want it, I’m just gonna get it” attitude. The brick phone he’s holding in some of these dates the photos, but there’s nothing else about these to make them seem like they weren’t taken yesterday. I’m sure that phone, at that time, was the freshest, greatest, nobody had it. It was always about being ahead of the competition. His style then was impeccable and there’s nothing about it that wouldn’t apply today.”
New Yorkers can check out an exhibition of Mannion’s poloroid work entitled ‘Rough around the Edges’ at Milk Studios from Jun 18th to July 7th. The opening reception is tomorrow from 7PM-10PM.
Images via The Fader