“I am Warhol. I am the No. 1 most impactful artist of our generation. I am Shakespeare in the flesh. I’m going to be the Tupac of clothing,” once proclaimed Kanye West. And while we bet baby Kanye always had big dreams for himself, we don’t think Teeny Yeezy knew he would be able to add “Insta-sensation to rival Pudge the Cat” to his list of accomplishments, which he can now thanks to an SF-based BFF duo who recreate Kanye and his “dopest wife” Kim Kardashian’s everyday styles down to a tee. The account, called What Would Yeezus Wear?, not only causes folks to do a double take, but a double tap, too. And yes, that includes a like from Mrs. West herself. (They’ve got almost 40K followers).
Love ’em or hate ’em (or have a love-hate relationship), Kimye’s pervasiveness in pop culture is here to stay. Naturally, their iconic monochromatic (sometimes matching, always complementary) looks were bound to go mainstream, but we never thought we’d see a remix quite like this. Trust us, you’re Bound 2 keep scrolling through WWYW to see how Katie Burroughs (left) and Kathleen Lee (right) effortlessly bounce between roles of the #worldsmosttalkedaboutcouple. We went straight to the source to find out how these stylish soul sisters started WWYW and what we can expect to see from them next (request: MORE baby North cameos!).
All the best partnerships start somewhere. How long have you guys been friends?
KL: We’ve been friends since I came into my interview at Waterfall (where we are coworkers) in May. We immediately bonded. It may be short in duration, but our friendship is timeless.
KB: We immediately bonded over our love for the SF Giants. (Kathleen maintains our social media presence and I manage our fantasy football team.)
Why did you choose to recreate Kimye’s looks?
KL: Originally I had gotten a denim shirt, and mentioned to Katie how I wanted to wear it with jeans because I saw Kanye do it, and she sort of chuckled when I said I loved Kanye’s style, and I commented on the fact that she too had similar tastes. The day I wore the denim shirt we decided to take a pic side by side, and the pic we found of Kanye had Kim in it, and Katie was wearing almost the exact same outfit, so we took it together. Both of us knew right then it was funny, and that we should do another, so we made a Pinterest board of their outfits and noted which pieces we each owned and we surprisingly had a lot between the two of us, so it basically took off from there, especially once we received such positive feedback from our friends.
Who’s Kim and who’s Ye in this partnership?
KL: We trade off, usually it’s a battle for Kanye (no offense to Kim) but some of her outfits are hard to pull off without her crazy body. Usually it comes down to who already has the clothes for which outfit. Some we can swap but Katie is about a foot taller than me so that can be difficult :) Generally we try to mix it up if we can just to keep it interesting for both of us.
Where do you guys get the clothes to re-create these shots?
KL: The majority is clothing we already owned, which helped this whole project come to life. We love their style naturally and realized we had a lot of their key pieces between the two of us. We also thrift — Katie is a master. We’ve made a few things, borrowed and purchased things here and there, albeit not on a Balmain budget. My key piece I wear the most is my leather jacket — it’s from Zara, which is probs my fave place to shop, and Katie’s AMAZEBALL camel coat is from her grandma’s closet, which I absolutely love.
When do you find the time to style and photograph each look?
KB: It only takes about 10 minutes to get each look, including scouting locations. We work in the Design District in SF so there’s no shortage of great backdrops. Our photographer Katie Ives is also a creative who works at another startup in our building, so there’s no shortage of ideas when the three of us get together.
KL: We use a Pinterest board to brainstorm looks and text back and forth the night before a day we want to shoot on who has what items. Once we get to work, our very patient and supportive boss and coworkers entertain our hobby, and we head outside to shoot. We’re always brainstorming though — Like Glengarry: ABK, “Always Be Kimye’ing.”
KL: I love the ice cream one, because ice cream. (Kim double tapped this one.) We went to Humphrey Slocombe. Katie loves the umbrella one because I look funny.
KB: Anything that Kathleen looks ridiculous in. Whenever I can’t stop laughing, I know we’re on to something.
Most challenging look?
KL: I think we both like the ones with North because it’s just funny to see a grown adult trying to be a baby. A huge appeal of these photos is the execution and a lot of that has to do with matching the composition and that becomes difficult when I am not in fact the size of a 2-year old. But it’s so funny that it’s worth contorting.
What other creative hobbies do you have?
KL: Katie has lots: she thrifts, paints, she is always creating something. She goes to Creative Mornings every month. I really admire her creative energy and personal style. I’m actually a designer, so most think I’m super creative but I tend to be a bit more analytical and practical, so I love that Katie and this project has given me a creative outlet that isn’t work related.
KB: I love photography, drawing and dancing. Kathleen also makes clothes (she made the mermaid halloween costume).
What’s once piece of advice you’d share with other creatives?
KL: I think it’s really about making time in your life to foster it. We all get so busy and over stimulated, and just about every career and industry can benefit from creative thinking. I feel our project is an example of recognizing something that you get excited about, and going with it. We didn’t shut it down as impractical or time consuming. We made it work, and let ourselves really enjoy the process.
What can we expect to see from you in upcoming posts?
KL: We have a good queue set up, but pressure is on to delight our newly expanded audience. I think what will be really fun is going beyond our normal closet and creating some of their more crazy and unique looks. I hope Kim and Kanye see that it comes from a place of admiration. If anything, Kanye may be disappointed in the low quality fabrics used in our knockoffs, but we’re happy to accept a Givenchy sponsorship!
(Images via Instagram)