“It needed to convey the message of a mass exodus,” Candace Owens said of the artwork that would mark black America’s exit, or Blexit, from the “liberal plantation.”
“I created the logo. I spent weeks tinkering with the design, agonizing over the shape, the color,” Owens told me in a phone interview. “I started with a very basic X”
But Owens knew something was missing. “It just wasn’t right. There was this gaping creative chasm,” She said of the artwork.
That’s when she turned to Kanye West — the 21-time Grammy-winner and one of the most influential and successful fashion designers in the world, with whom Owens has developed a close collaborative relationship.
“Me and Kanye had been in constant contact for months. I showed him the Blexit design that I had started to create.” Owens said. “He paused for what felt like ten excruciating minutes, looked at me, smiled, and said, ‘You know the greatest designer of all-time and you didn’t ask me for help?'”
A marketing maven, two-time GQ Most Stylish Man, and the purveyor of the billion-dollar Yeezy apparel and footwear collection brand with Addidas, even Kanye found it a bit of a challenge trying to solve the creative mystery behind the Blexit design he wanted to present to the world. But it was a worthy challenge for one of the fashion industry’s most prolific influencers; one that took he and Owens halfway across the globe to conquer.
“Like me, Kanye felt like something was missing from the design,” Owens told me. “The man is a creative force of nature. And just like that, the next thing I knew, I was on a plane flying from Philadelphia to Africa.”
“It’s hard to put into words what that level of innovative energy felt like. We were overwhelmed with inspiration as soon as we landed in Uganda,” Owens recalls of her and Kanye’s visit with the people of the East African nation.
It was there that Kanye met with President Yoweri Museveni, visited with orphans who didn’t have shoes to wear.
“There was a real rooted tribal vibe and hora around us,” said Owens, who arrived the next day. “That feeling of going back to our homeland, being in Africa — the feeling of family and togetherness that we as a people have moved away from — motivated Kanye and inspired what came to be the Blexit design.”
Kanye put Owens in contact with a designer who had taken the X logo and drew each letter to take on the shape of a human figure.
“The Blexit design reflects the deep-seated humanity and harmony we felt in Uganda,” Candace Owens explained. “It’s that humanity you see in the artwork. The bodies represent us all bending and binding together as a people to bring healing to our communities and real lasting change. That’s what this movement represents. That’s what was missing from the logo. That’s what we found in Africa.”
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson