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West says Parker put him in the room with Air Jordan designer Tinker Hatfield, and by mid, West was rocking prototypes of his own Air Yeezy high-top onstage, with the genuine article arriving in Hip-hop has connected with footwear almost since the genre was born, from Run-D. West was the first to do it at Nike on the level of an NBA superstar.

Then came the bizarre. The year ended with West hospitalized after the tour cancelation. His first appearance after? His career, however, has proved antic-proof. And he has channeled his intensity profitably, particularly when it comes to sneakers. As sales blossomed at Nike, particularly after the Air Yeezy II release in , West felt that the company was treating him like just another celebrity dabbler.

West, however, had always insisted on maintaining ownership of his brand. The next year he leveraged his new album to create a launch party for both sneakers and song, at a sold-out Madison Square Garden. His biggest breakthrough: the The partnership works both ways. He sat down and drafted a new logo before personally redesigning the packaging.

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I would throw my name on anything. He can laugh at himself a little now. Just after midnight he ushers me into his Lamborghini for an impromptu visit, barreling back down the road with Bach blasting on the sound system. After about 15 minutes, we arrive at a bungalow in the woods. A team of four is still clattering away on Apple laptops inside, ahead of a meeting the following morning in San Francisco with potential investors.

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Around them, the walls are plastered with written notes and sketches. West peers over the shoulders of his charges, instructing them to change a font here or brighten a picture there. After a half hour or so, West appears satisfied with the state of the presentation and motions me toward a back door. We stroll out into the chilly, starless night, and I follow him up a dirt path deeper into the woods for several minutes until he stops at a clearing and looks up, wordless. There, with the hazy heft of something enormous and far away, stand a trio of structures that look like the skeletons of wooden spaceships.

He tells me they could be used as living spaces for the homeless, perhaps sunk into the ground with light filtering in through the top. We stand there in silence for several minutes considering the structures before walking back down to his lurking Lamborghini and zooming off into the night. The inside of this will be blue.

And I just go with the flow. There are about 1, pairs laid across the lot, it seems, but when I ask West for the exact tally, he seems almost offended at the notion of reducing his creations to numerals.

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His brand built its following through its limited releases and surprise drops, much like Air Jordan. The latter, according to NPD retail analyst Matt Powell, has lost a bit of its cachet in recent years as Nike moved to fill declining volume in other areas of business with its iconic sub-brand.

Adidas seems to be aware of this. The May release of the glow-in-the-dark v2 sold out immediately, even though it rolled out at 6 a. In June, customers lined up around blocks in Moscow to get a reflective version of a sneaker that had already debuted in the U. There are even more far-out concepts in the works, including a shoe made out of algae that will biodegrade completely over time in landfills—or almost immediately if sprayed with a certain type of bacteria.

Purchased by the Billionaire

This is the reason he became a centimillionaire many times over much earlier in his life than Jordan. And then some. He and his wife, MacKenzie, are in the process of finalizing their divorce. In April, it announced record first quarter sales and profits on top of a strong The growth comes as high-end buyers around the world continue to pick up luxury goods and spirits, despite fears that demand, particularly in China, would slow down.

Thirty-five years after Arnault first got into luxury goods with the purchase of Christian Dior, he continues to refresh LVMH by finding ways to appeal to a new generation of customers while retaining the traditional values and high quality that have defined its brands. That includes innovative partnerships like the two with Rihanna — Fenty Beauty and Fenty fashion house — as well as recent deals such as the acquisition of Belmond, which operates luxury hotels, trains and even safaris.

He has since been featured several times and has appeared on our cover.

He made his debut in our Billionaires ranks in The son of a construction tycoon, Arnault spent three years in the U. After three years he returned home. Kluge tore it down because it blocked his view. In France we are full of good ideas, but we rarely put them into practice. He returned back to France ready to make some moves.

That became the first of many Arnault acquisitions and the cornerstone of his massive luxury goods empire.

Connect with us. Share Tweet. Continue Reading. You may like. Commentary Five Moments That Defined The Wyss campaign will support locally-led efforts to better manage parks and protected areas. Wyss will also sponsor research at the University of Bern, Switzerland, so that scientists can determine the most effective and feasible conservation methods. Read more: So many animals will go extinct in the next 50 years that it will take Earth at least 3 million years to recover, a study has found. Wyss is also one of several billionaires to sign the Giving Pledge , a commitment to give away at least half of one's wealth to charity.

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