Kanye West Turns Out at L.A. Trade Tech’s Fashion Show

Gold Thimble

Kanye West

Kanye West

As of Thursday, June 4, 2015

Los Angeles Trade-Technical College celebrated its 90th anniversary during its May 29 Gold Thimble runway show, where student designers, under the direction of Carole Anderson, department chair of LA Trade-Tech’s fashion design department, showcased everything from swimwear, sportswear and menswear to day dresses inspired by the film “Pretty Woman” and after-five dresses inspired by the 1970s.

The event included a special themed section that celebrated 90 years of fashion and “the trajectory of this amazing college,” said Leticia L. Barajas, vice president of academic affairs and workforce and economic development, who served as the evening’s master of ceremonies.

L.A. Trade-Tech was founded in 1925 as the Frank Wiggins Trade School. In 1949, it became a junior college.

Barajas introduced the event’s special guest, Kanye West, praising the musician for being “true to the community” and having “great legitimacy with our young people.”

Last summer, West taught a few fashion classes at LA Trade-Tech and launched his own fashion collection, a collaboration with Adidas Originals, in February at New York Fashion Week.

West told the crowd he comes from a family of educators and tailors (as well as his “cousin T.J., who sold bootleg Cross Colours.”)

“I empathize with anyone who’s ever loved fashion,” he told the students and their friends and families in attendance. “When a kid tells his parents he wants to be a fashion designer, it’s not like becoming a lawyer or a doctor. Even for me. In order to make the transition, it was all but impossible. People want to box you in.”

West also urged the students to “use this time to learn as much as possible.”

“The reason I go to fashion shows is I want to see the designers deliver their work in the truest form,” he said. “The average celebrity designer—they don’t get their fingers bloody. I respect people have taken the time to learn their craft and deliver something of quality and passion to the world.”

He also mixed in words of warning with the encouragement.

“It’s a tough world out there,” he said. “You’ve got to prepare yourself for politics and bad bosses. Usually when you’re the absolute best you get hated on the most. Never stop fighting. No matter how they try to compromise your soul. Human beings are a blip in existence. Death is promised. What do you do with your life? How do you make your voice loudest?”