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Meet Kanye West's 19-Year-Old Stylist Cassius Clay

Meet Kanye West's 19-Year-Old Stylist Cassius Clay

Who does Kanye West turn to for fashion advice?

A 19-year-old Yale sophomore who took a leave of absence from the Ivy League school to become the rapper’s personal stylist after a chance encounter at Barneys New York!

Cassius Clay, an art history major, opens up about getting tapped on the shoulder by Kanye at the department store – who complimented him on the way he was dressed – and soon becoming his creative consultant.

“My father is in his 80′s and my mother in her 60′s so they’re not exactly Kanye‘s typical listening demographic. Still, they could appreciate opportunity and were very supportive of a productive pause in my track at Yale,” Cassius told Opening Ceremony‘s blog.

“My mother made a Twitter account to follow Kanye (not me),” he added, “and I’ve found both Graduation and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in my father’s car.”

Check out Cassius‘s very interesting interview after the jump!

What were you wearing at the age of 10?
CC: My school had a dress code of khakis with collared shirts for the younger boys. Dissatisfied with the informality of khakis, I adopted a personal uniform of exclusively white turtlenecks, grey flannel trousers, and black & white spectator shoes. I look back on it now as a dedicated engagement with minimalism (and self-caricature). Occasionally on weekends at home I would pretend to be a pharaoh with amulet and scepter.

Do you have any favorite stylists?
CC: Anna Della Russo succeeds in making fun elegant and elegance fun. Brana Wolf is fluent but not overbearing in her allusions to film and literature. [Vogue's creative director] Grace Coddington is relentlessly witty.

What makes the perfect look for you?
CC: An external reflection of personality that admits both reality and imagination. I haven’t decided whether enthusiastic matching or dramatic juxtaposition is more contrived – or if that self-awareness is necessarily a bad thing – but both are to be respected for the thought that goes into them. Comfort is indulgent and ultimately forgettable.

What are you currently obsessed with?
CC: Charles Dickens, truffles, gloves from Givenchy Fall/Winter 2010, taxidermy (including the Deyrolle pour Opening Ceremony scarves!), Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), the Orient Express — and Nicki Minaj!

Do you collect anything?
CC: I scour auctions for rare prints or discontinued colorways of Hermès scarves. I also collect the the “no-no” reserved signs from the Jane Hotel, matchboxes from the Bowery Hotel, and cellphone pictures of the Empire State Building as viewed from the Standard Hotel.

What is one thing in the world that everyone should try?
CC: Ideally: the epautre risotto at Taillevent in Paris. Practically: taking one’s jeans to a tailor.

Opening Ceremony is themed on the idea of travel and bringing back souvenirs. What cool things have you brought back from recent trips?
CC:A really wonderful friend from Abu Dhabi gave me a gold necklace spelling out my name in Arabic – easily my most treasured souvenir.

How would you have answered the question “what do you want to be when you grow up” six months ago, five years ago and today?
CC: Five years ago: to be taller than my brothers; a diplomat. Six months ago: to be an art scholar or critic. Today: to be an editor, a collector, or a museum curator.

Just Jared on Facebook
Credit: Jamie McCarthy; Photos: Getty
Posted to: Cassius Clay, Kanye West

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  • ava

    stylist or boyfriend….

  • wild

    @ava: the latter or both

  • Mel Gibson

    More black post, jj?

  • Iffy Miffy

    Stylist … is that what they call them these days…

  • Mel Gibson.
  • Delphic

    A 19-year-old guy whose father is in this 80s? Woah.

  • mmm mmmm good


    His stylist is cute too.

    Everyone is jealous.

  • http://Ta Sligo ^_^ cute

    New album loser

  • XYZ

    @mmm mmmm good:

    Possibly, but better jealous than stupid like u. His “stylist” (my ass!) has a shoe/galosh face. Compared to him KANYE is Prince Charming.

  • oy

    FINALLY someone literate and intelligent connected to Kanye. I wish more people surrounding celebrities were as intellectually witty as this kid.

  • Hobnob

    He sounds way too pretentious but art history majors tend to. One can’t just say I collect green toy cars. It must be lime green miniature automobiles..

  • Hobnob

    He sounds way too pretentious but art history majors tend to. One can’t just say I collect green toy cars. It must be lime green miniature automobiles..

  • bubbaness

    He must have been furiously looking through a thesaurus while doing this interview. Nineteen year olds haven’t talked that ridiculously complex since Dawson’s Creek went off the air.

  • Bellas

    His parents are old. I wonder how long Kanye will keep him.

  • Bellas

    @Mel Gibson.: Yeah, linking from a racist, white website doesn’t prove your agenda.

  • susana


    I highly doubt that, this is what educated Ivy Leaguers sound like. And it’s not a bad thing, more young people should try to pick up a book instead of infect their mind with trash.

  • Eve

    More like he used word search on So much quicker than thumbing through a thesaurus book. There’s also an iPhone application for use on the go. Kids these days have it easy, if they know how to use technology efficiently.

  • Aoede

    Interesting little duded. Well traveled and smart. Good for him.

  • Rupee

    Ivy leaguers sound like every other educated person. It’s more to do with their major. It’s too easy to talk about art since even a 12 year old can look at a painting and critique it. I think he had good practice with a thesaurus by now. And looking up words on Google. Educated people are trained to know where to look for information, not so much what they know, since knowledge is always evolving and changing at the top echelon.

  • Nate

    Very cute~

  • nene

    He sounds like an arrogant retard!

  • sally

    I’m sorry to say but educated Ivy Leaguers don’t have to be super smart. I have a friend who is majoring in art history and anthropology at a very well known east coast university. He is a bookworm, but has no common sense. These schools are difficult to get in to, but NOT Impossible. Especially majors such as art, history, philosophy, psychology that have no job applicability are a lot easier to get in to. One factor that the majority of these Ivy leaguers have in common is $$ money $$. This guy sounds like an old money spoiled brat. Now, Try getting in to a Veterinary school, Medical school, or even Stanford’s nursing school. Practically impossible with a 4.0 GPA.

  • Whatev’s

    Kanye hired a fellow gay fish!

  • Pitchajarun

    haha Whatev’s – kanye, gay fish!

  • Alli

    Im confused why this is making ‘news? im not trying to be sarcastic, im honestly confused. i mean, most artists/actors have personal stylists, right???

    i guess it was how he was ‘discovered’????? lol.. no clue!

  • Nicole

    This guy sounds like a total square which is he. Gosh he must be fun at a party. 19 years old? Really Kanye? Well for one you two sound like a match made in heaven! Maybe you should marry each other!

  • hellomoto

    @sally: No disrespect, but getting into Vet school does not make you smart – it only makes you an aspiring Vet. I know Vets that really aren’t that intelligent – Vet schools are hard to get in to because the demand outstrips the supply.

    To get into a top 10 school, you need to be decently smart – not a genius, but decently smart – this would be about the top 10% of the population. Sounds more like sour grapes on your part and truth be told, you probably aren’t that smart since you can only site “your friend”.

    FYI – I did go to a top 10 school – likely similar to the one “your friend” went to.