There’s no denying Kanye West has had a rough past year. After canceling his Saint Pablo tour in November and seeking treatment for his mental health, things appear to be looking up for the rapper.
In addition to reports that he could resume his tour as early as 2018, West was also just nominated for a major design award.
The London Design Museum announced the finalists for its annual Beazley Designs of the Year, honoring the best projects across architecture, digital, fashion, graphics, and more.
The rapper grabbed a spot in the fashion category for the inventive merchandise inspired by his “Life of Pablo” album. Considering the hype around the line and West’s forays into fashion, is it really that surprising?
Last August, when the hip-hop artist decided to open 21 pop-up stores for the merchandiseacross the globe, fans lined up in droves just to have the chance to scoop up a piece or two. Even before that, back in March, he hosted a pop-up in New York’s Soho neighborhood which reportedly sold $1 million in merchandise over one weekend, according to a tweet from West.
Adorned with gothic script by artist Cali Thornhill, the line of minimalistic apparel features everything from hoodies to t-shirts to bombers emblazoned with city names from the tour, popular phrases from the rapper’s album, or simply PABLO.
Say what you will about Kanye West, but the rapper-turned-fashion designer knows how to make a statement.
This isn’t the first time West has been nominated (or even won) a major design award either. Back in 2015, his Yeezy trainer, in collaboration with Adidas, took home the prize for Shoe of the Year.
That said, the rapper stands some tough competition for this year’s Beazley awards. Also nominated in his category: fashion designer Aitor Throup’s innovative Rite of Spring collection combining fashion with puppetry, the now iconic pink “pussyhats” that became a symbol of the Women’s March, as well as Nike Pro’s performance hijab for Muslim women.
Another familiar face you’ll find on the list of nominees? IKEA, whose “snap-together” flat-pack furniture is up for the product category. Last year, the Swedish furniture retailer also took home the grand prize for its flat-pack refugee shelter design.
You’ll find some big names in the architecture category as well, including Zaha HadidArchitect’s Antwerp Port House, David Adjaye’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C., and OMA’s Il Fondaco Tedeschi development in Venice.
Check out the full list of nominees to start rooting for your favorites. We’ve got our money on Kanye.