I can't qoute all of what Jersey said but I don't know, I just can't quite agree on you on that.
I do not necessarily see Lil' Wayne, especially TI (I actually like how he dresses, especially lately, check out his GQ spread) as a fashion disfigurement and see Kanye as the god of fashion.
It is true that Kanye has been on that fashion slide for a while but the thing is, he did the whole fitted thing and made polo's and plaid shorts relevant again.
Maybe it does have to do with his cockyness and maybe that is what makes Kanye, well Kanye. You can't beat him too much about that because it works.
Some hate it but most love it. People envy celebrities all the time and Kanye just happens to be out there getting attention.
Unlike Wayne, who still rocks his jeans so low that his whole boxer can be seen and still wears some baggy stuff or overly tight stuff.
Hate it or love it, Kanye is actually in the medium of it all. He goes over do it at times but for the most part, he has a nice fitted suit, yes with dumb sneakers (But only celebrities and rock/pop stars could pull off the look w/o being a douche) and some button up and a scarf and maybe some coat. I think that is a good look for the most part. Of course Bentley got him beat but Kanye is heading the right direction. Being the cocky bastard that he is, of course he has to go over the top to be noticed, either by his shoes or the way he talks. To be honest, if Kanye's personality is different, he wouldn't be as famous.
As for demographic and using celebrities and artists, it will have to be based on their fan base. Of course Jim Jones wearing the same LV stuff as Kanye won't be as famous until Kanye is seen in it, because Kanye is bigger than him. Honestly I rarely hear about Jim Jones and I only read about him when he beats up Ne-yo and some dude, while Kanye is in Paris during fashion week and absorbing it all, mingling with Marc Jacobs and Karl Lagerfeld, two legends of the business. Kanye has become a fashion icon (depend son if it is bad of not but he is) and Jim Jones, TI and Lil Wayne are far from it. Yah it is BS at times but we are living in a society where celebrities are viewed and watched in a pedestal. Nothing much you can do about it and I do not see it changing anytime soon.
Now to the branding and little details. You can't really make anymore shoes without just adding this distinction. It is no shameless plug, I mean the person already bought the shoes. If the shoe is nice enough, people doesn't need to look at the brand, they will ask. The monogram is a love and hate relationship and I do not really think it is to advertise their brand, but also because it does look good at times. Let us look at the Gucci chucks. Sure the style has been around for generations but there are subtle but big difference in there too. Like I said, the the wingtip on the toe, the shape is different as the shoe looks more like a boot, the leather trim on the top, the shape of the midsole, the quality of the midsole, the monogram (of course), thicker laces, overall shoe quality is better, etc... I could go on on the differences. See, those are subtle differences but goes unnoticed and that is what you have to look for. So many shoes looks so similar but you cannot really just say people buy it for the name (although some certainly do) but there are people who look for those differences., differences that cannot be seen with a quick glance. I mean if you really want originality, check out that Ato's in the last page and the DSquared and D&G shoes I posted a few pages back, thats what happens with originality. And it is exactly my point, it sucked and that is because they stepped away from what works in the classic look and created their own thing. Originality at it's best. If it ain't broke...
As for the boat shoes, I do not really think AF1 is synonymous with a shiny white leather, other than it is just really white. There are details in the boat shoes, but huge details for a boat shoes that stops ir from becoming a boat shoe, (kanye calls them boat shoes so it is boat shoes, sadly) are real bulky, the tassels are too much and belongs in a leather shoe/loafers and the back cushion doesn't belong in a boat shoe. Leave the back part all leather, no cushion needed ON THE OUTSIDE of the shoe. The athletic inspired heel padding outside will not help with comfort,a s you can see, the lining inside is thin just like a regular boat shoe. That cushion is all for show and just make the shoe more bulky, just seems useless really, unless its purpose is to keep your pants from dragging. The details just doesn't go together, it looks like Frankenstein threw this shoe together and failed miserably. This is pretty much a sneaker boat shoe and if that is what you are looking for and what the new generation wants, then good for them. It is a classic gone awry in my book. And seriously, take out the back padding and tassel and maybe trim down the thick midsole and it is a decent shoe I would wear during the summer with my seer-sucker suit.
Ok, that is too much writing my head could handle. It's great to argue with Jersey it really gets my brain going and really makes me appreciate the stuff I buy as i notice how much into detail I am about these stuff. It is by instinct I guess that rarely comes out.
I can't wait for a rebuttal.