Kanye West can claim one of the hottest sandals in the market with his Adidas Yeezy Foam Runner, and if a teaser is to be taken literally, he may be working on a vehicle using similar materials.
Tucked into the announcement of former Adidas designer, Steven Smith, being named head of Donda industrial design is a teaser for the Donda Foam Vehicle. A single profile image shows a tank-like vehicle that fits in well with West’s automotive choices over the past several years. The company says it was conceptualized, designed, and manufactured in the United States — and that’s where information on the vehicle begins and ends.
West has long had ambitious plans for Donda, although to date, the company has mostly provided creative direction for album art, music videos, marketing, and stage design. Donda has recently expanded into sports through a high school athletics program and an agency that counts the NFL’s Aaron Donald and NBA’s Jaylen Brown among its clients. Vehicles, though, would be a whole different beast. Given the amount of West projects/fantasies that have been abandoned, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Donda Foam Vehicle never comes to life.
Let us revisit the Donda organizational chart — Where exactly the Donda Foam Vehicle is in the production process remains to be seen, but it does call back to the wide-reaching organizational chart West tweeted upon announcing Donda back in 2012. Indeed, many of the projects on the de-facto wishlist have come to life; even a “7-screen movie experience” made for the album Cruel Summer.
Compared to other items on the list not yet realized, a vehicle made out of conventional materials or even foam would hardly be the most farfetched. West also envisioned Donda tackling HIV, cancer, and nuclear power. The chart also suggests a "luxury search engine" and "emoticon auto correct" as avenues to explore — whatever those terms could possibly mean.
Presumably, Smith will help oversee the rollout of the Donda Foam Vehicle along with whatever else West can conjure up for the industrial design wing of the company. Some are even speculating that Smith’s appointment signals West imminently departing from his Adidas partnership to make sneakers himself. However risky that may be, it would make a lot more sense than two shoe designers trying to make a car.