FORCES OF FASHION - model: Riccardo Tisci and Beyoncé - photographer: Anton Corbijn - fashion editor: Camilla Nickerson - hair: Neal Farinah - make-up: Sir John - featured designer: Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci
My dad [Robert Kardashian] always made us girls feel protected and loved. He was really involved in our lives and would drive us to school, help us with our homework and was ever present. I had an amazing childhood.
Dad was a defence lawyer and he taught me the importance of having a strong work ethic. He showed that through example – he worked hard all of his life. He was extremely close to his family and taught me the value of staying close to your own family. He would always say, “Don’t let anything get in between you and the family.” His mantra was “don’t give up and don’t be lazy” – he always made sure we kept busy doing something productive with our time.
I remember looking at my dad and the way he interacted with Mum [Kris] and thinking, “That’s the way a marriage should be.” He was such a gentleman. He always took care of his girls and my brother - he always made us feel important. He assured us everything would be okay regardless of what was going on. Dad died in 2003 but I still feel him around me every day and I think he would be proud of me right now. You never get over the loss of a parent. I miss him.
Your first kiss is always a big deal. I remember I was in a playground and a guy ran up to me and kissed me on the cheek and then ran off. I was about 10 years old and I remember everyone was screaming from the excitement, it was funny but hardly romantic.
I was always shy around boys at school. I had male friends but I was a girly girl and not a tomboy, so I tended to hang out with the girls. I didn’t really get into guys until I got older. I didn’t feel that comfortable to be around them.
I grew up with a very strong female presence from my sisters to my mother and both grandmothers - it was women all round – so I found it easier to be with women from the beginning.
I was obsessed with Johnny Depp when I was a teenager. I thought he was so hot. He was gorgeous and had that bad-boy streak - especially when he was with Winona Rider and then Kate Moss. I loved looking at couples and wondering what it was that attracted them to each other. I didn’t go for bad boys as a general rule and I never went for party boys but was certainly attracted to Johnny Depp physically.
I’ve always been attracted to men who have a strong work ethic and are super ambitious. I have always liked the idea of being in a relationship. It’s where I am most comfortable and I feel protected when I am around a good man.
In high school [Marymount High School, Los Angeles] I always had a boyfriend. I was a relationship kind of girl; I didn’t like to be out of one. I enjoy male company and I like to share my world with someone. Dating is too confusing, it means you have to share yourself with too many people. It’s not my style and I never opted for that way.
I never kept diaries as a teenager. I would talk about boys with my sisters and best friends. It was always a part of life in college. Girls talk about guys as much as guys talk about girls at that age.
When you initially meet a guy, you notice his smell, his scent. It certainly plays a role when you’re first starting to date – it’s one of those things you instantly remember about men. It continues to play an important role in life as men always comment on a fragrance and let you know if they like or don’t like a certain fragrance on you.
I’m a huge fan of fashion designer Riccardo Tisci. I think everything he does is so forward and simply stunning. We met through my husband Kanye [West]. They have been friends for a long time and he designed my wedding gown. It’s the best dress I have ever worn. He captures feminine and sexy and is one of my favourite designers - he totally understands women’s bodies and what matters to women when it comes to style.
I admire Tom Ford for the cool S&M pieces he comes up with - he’s also always exploring different ways for women to express their femininity. He is a mix of daring and classic and takes you out of your comfort zone but makes you feel comfortable about it.
All men should be like my husband Kanye. He is very selfless when it comes to our relationship. He is giving and loving. He is respectful and has a great understanding about my needs.
Kanye is perfect in my eyes and he’s a genuinely good person. We disconnect from the celebrity stuff when we’re together. We know how to just be about us when we’re on our own. I love seeing Kanye interact with our daughter [North, age 1]. Seeing that father-daughter connection is beautiful. He is really doting.
Today marks the fifth anniversary of the release of Watch the Throne’s second single ‘Otis.’
The track was premiered by Funkmaster Flex on his Hot 97 radio show, and was released onto the Internet the day afterward to critical and public acclaim. The cover art for ‘Otis’ was designed by Italian fashion designer Riccardo Tisci, who had previously produced the artwork for ‘H*A*M’ and would also design the Watch the Throne album cover. ‘Otis’ debuted at #47 on the Billboard Hot 100 after a partial week of sales and airplay. It would reach #12 on the chart and has been certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA for over two million sales.
At the 54th Grammy Awards in 2012, ‘Otis’ was nominated for a Grammy Award for ‘Best Rap Song’ and won the Grammy for ‘Best Rap Performance.’
I’m sure y’all remember the moment you first heard the epic track. ‘Otis’ opened with a slowed-down refrain from Redding’s famous ‘Try a Little Tenderness’ single, no doubt bringing back beautiful memories from our childhood. “Sounds so soulful, wouldn’t you agree?!” Hov exclaims as Kanye chops and reworks the piano sample, ushering in the heavy bass line and drums. The two musical legends proceed to spit eight quick, decadent bars each, before handing the mic over to the other. Redding’s daughter, Karla Redding-Andrews, was asked to clear the sample and said she was very happy to have “two current, legendary artists” use the “legendary music” of her father. Karla also revealed there was some initial back and forth about the title of the song, over whether it was to be titled ‘Otis Redding’ or simply 'Otis.’
Bu Thiam, Def Jam Vice-President of A&R at the time, was with Hov and Yeezy throughout the album’s recording process and saw how the duo came up with several of the Watch the Throne tracks. Here he recalls the story of the origin of the now-classic ‘Otis,’ recorded circa-June 2011 at the Mercer Hotel in New York City: “[Kanye] was late for his flight, we were in the studio working all day and so he was late for his flight. As we were leaving he was like, 'Yo hold on for a second.’ So he drops his bags and goes to the MPC … and he’s just fucking with [the beat]. What’s so crazy is the whole time he’s doing that Jay is writing his verses in his head. But Jay is watching the NBA playoffs, I think it was the championship; Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks. So Jay is watching the playoffs. I’m not even thinking Jay is paying attention to what 'Ye is doing and by the time he is finished Jay is like 'I invented swag…’ And I’m like, 'What the fuck just happened?!'“
“I judge Courtney as a human being and as an artist. Sometimes she does some crazy stuff, sometimes things that make me smile, but that is Courtney Love. She is a beautiful woman, and she has her own look.”