Kanye West said that “skinheads and Nazis were his greatest inspiration” while working on his Yeezy Season 9 collection for Paris Fashion Week, according to a former employee who spoke to Rolling Stone.
The rapper-turned-fashion designer was reported to have made the comments while looking through Yeezy designs for heavy hoods and face-coverings in a Los Angeles showroom. It was described as a “casual remark,” per Rolling Stone’s report. A former Adidas executive told the publication that they had heard similar comments before.
The Yeezy employee said that they overlooked the remark at first, putting it down to West’s artistic vision.
Insider has not been able to independently verify the claims made in Rolling Stone’s article.
West did not immediately respond when Insider attempted to reach him on both Instagram and Twitter. He no longer has a publicist, per Rolling Stone.
Ye, as he is now known, sparked a major string of controversies — which have seen him lose numerous business deals — when he and conservative commentator Candace Owens wore ‘White Lives Matter’ shirts at Paris Fashion Week.
Another Yeezy staffer told Rolling Stone that, before leaving for France, the idea was to talk about race during fashion week, but lean towards “making fun of white people.”
The staffer added: “White Lives Matter [and] Candace Owens in combination just made it political, and just stupid.”
Soon after the shirt controversy, West tweeted that he was “going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE,” leading to his Twitter account being locked. His antisemitic comments led to companies cutting ties with West, including the end of his longstanding relationship with Adidas.
Since then, a number of allegations that Ye has made numerous positive comments about Nazism in the past have been reported, including an NBC News’ report that he paid a settlement to an employee who claimed he praised Hitler.
His managing of Yeezy employees has also come under fire, with Bloomberg reporting that West demanded Adidas open a new facility near his Wyoming ranch, which closed its doors within 6 months. Rolling Stone’s report now adds that some of the 90 employees commuted there by a weekly private plane from California.
Adidas, which collaborated with him on Yeezy, officially broke-up with West on October 25, a move it said would halve its earnings for the year. On a Wednesday call to discuss the sportswear giant’s Q3 earnings, the company told reporters that it would release Yeezy designs under its own branding.
Adidas did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider on the contents of Rolling Stone’s report.