Kanye West’s many talents, it appears, extend to the design world. And he now reportedly wants to form a partnership with a prominent Southern California high school.
As TMZ originally reported, West’s representatives recently met with school officials at Calabasas (Calif.) to pitch a collaboration between Yeezy and the school. West, it appears, wants to redesign the school’s sports uniforms and help to re-brand the entire program.
Las Virgenes Unified School District Communications Coordinator Kim Prince confirmed Tuesday to USA TODAY Sports that a meeting did take place, but said that only West’s representatives were present at the meeting and not West himself.
It was also reported that among the changes West proposed were changing the school colors and renaming the mascot from the Coyotes to the Wolves. Perhaps not so coincidentally, West released a track in 2016 dubbed “Wolves.”And per Complex, he has a house in Calabasas.
However, on Monday, Las Virgenes Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Dan Stepenosky joined Fred Roggin and Rob Parker of KLAC AM 570 to set the record straight about some of the hearsay involved with the potential partnership.
“There seemed to be a lot more rumors than actual facts,” Stepenosky said. “So, yeah, some of his staff did meet with the principal of Calabasas (CJ Foss) and talked about a possible partnership, but very few if any details at this point and we’ve received no proposal. So we really have nothing to respond to at this time. We take meetings all the time, and we work for partnerships. And the bottom line is is this going to benefit our students and is it going to match our values and our mission and where we’re going. At this point absent an official proposal from them, we really don’t have anything to respond to.”
While the initial report hinted at West making a donation to improve school facilities, including major upgrades to the gym, Stepenosky told Roggin and Parker that “there was no discussion of any funding or financing, and certainly no discussion of any amount.”
Additionally, a mascot change is “not on the table,” according to Stepenosky.
“The alumni base would lose their mind. … I’m actually driving back from the high school right now and was talking to a bunch of the students,” Stepenosky said. “They’re excited about it, and they didn’t have as big a problem changing the name. But, no, that’s not on the table.”
The school currently has a deal with Adidas, which owns the Yeezy brand.
The attention from having the name of a celebrity of West’s stature linked to his school district was not lost on the superintendent, but did catch him off guard.
“This is my first public statement, so yeah, it was a bit of a surprise to us,” Stepenosky told KLAC. “Really, we considered it kind of a low-level meeting, and next thing I knew we pop up on TMZ, which kind of blew my mind.”
Prior to Stepenosky’s comments on the matter, the official Twitter account of the CHS Coyote Football Booster Club (@CalabasasFtball) did retweet the Complex tweet of their story on the potential collaboration and called it an “interesting development” while sharing the TMZ story.
Given the bottomless well of creativity that West has displayed in the past, we’d imagine those uniforms would be unlike others we’ve seen in high school sports. Whether it happens remains to be seen.
“I suppose if they’re serious they put together a proposal and we take a look at it,” Stepenosky said. “What would be in the proposal? I don’t have a clue, other than talking to CJ a little bit about some of the things they discussed. When they came to campus, they toured the campus, looked at the facilities, and I think they live in the area, so Calabasas was probably their closest public school. And the athletic programs at Calabasas … have had a lot of success, and we’re very proud of that success. So I think that’s how we ended up on their radar. But we wait for a proposal.
“But really, our focus is on the academics all the time. The athletics are awesome and keep engagement in the school in any fashion – performing arts, athletics, clubs – it’s critical to our success. But the key to us is the academics, which are through the roof, and we’re very proud of that.”