Kanye West’s eccentric fashion sense has almost always been a part of his Hip Hop image. Recently, his television performances have included an unmissable hot infrared suit with matching leather shoes. The man behind Kanye’s new look? Cassius Marcellus Cornelius Clay, a 19-year old Yale student who ‘Ye met by chance while shopping.
According to the New York Post, Kanye recruited Clay when he randomly spotted the young college student wearing unique gold-crested slippers at a Barneys. After complimenting the Yale sophomore, Kanye took him under his wing. A friend of Clay’s, Alex Klein told the Post, “[Kanye] was e-mailing Cassius saying, ‘You are an inspiration to me. I inspire people like Rihanna and Beyonce and you inspire me.'”
Clay would later take a leave of absence from school to act as one of Kanye’s three-person fashion team. Friends said Cassius Clay was always regarded as different even at his high school, Andover. “It’s tough being a character like Cassius at Andover,” said another friend. “People sometimes construed him the wrong way. He’s such a personality and in any high school, it is expected that you have to fit into a mold, and Cassius was never one for fitting in.”
Recently, Clay and ‘Ye hit up Phillip Lim’s New York showroom, where Clay selected a woman’s jacket for Kanye. While some staff members thought the selection was too out-there, ‘Ye loved it, and asked that a male version of that jacket be made.
“They’re both very similar,” continued the friend. “I can absolutely see how they can get along extremely well. Or they might each be too big of a diva that it can go either way.”