The Perfect Fit
GQ's Body & Style workout plan.
Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West's house sits atop a steep driveway in a gated community in Los Angeles's Bel Air neighborhood. Kanye, on the phone, is pacing in front of the house, occasionally obscured by a column or a shiny silver sports car. He waves me in with a publicly infrequent smile and apologizes for his workout gear: Miami Heat shorts and a black T-shirt.
This is not really their house, though. This is a stage home where the family—West, Kardashian, and their children, North, three, and Saint, nine months—are camping (a term used loosely; the place is majestically minimal) for the next few weeks until their new home is finally ready. Prior to this, they'd spent more than a year at the Calabasas home of Kim's mother, Kris Jenner.
Kim click-clacks in, wearing a long, khaki Lycra dress—"a Yeezy sample"—and full, precise makeup. Kanye perches on a coffee table between two gigantic white couches. On the table are some art books: Annie Leibovitz, the architect Álvaro Siza, and oddly, one titled Great Stud-Farms of the World. "Huh?" Kanye says when I ask if, for any reason, he's into stud farms. "Nah, that's not our book. That's for staging."
And when it comes to staging, Kim-and-Kanye know a thing or two:
Kanye West: I think we should get an outdoor shower.
Kim Kardashian West: Well, outside would be freezing, so maybe one inside and one outside. One and one.
KW: But there's a way that you can open the glass, like a sunroof. I'm thinking about the plaster too, around the bathtub.
KKW: We'll discuss.
Okay! So, this is in no particular order. Kanye, your favorite body part—your own or Kim's.
KW: Is the face a body part? My favorite body part of Kim's: heart.
KKW: Awww, now I have to say the same. But of my own, I like my upper stomach. I just seem to always have abs. When I'm not really pregnant, I have a great two-pack. [Laughs.] And of Kanye's? I have to say his heart. And I've always loved his legs.
Favorite song of all time?
KW: "All Along the Watchtower." The Jimi Hendrix cover.
KKW: I really like the song "Only One" [West with Paul McCartney].
Favorite Taylor Swift song?
KW: For me? I don't have one.
KKW: I was such a fan of hers.
KKW: Embraced by the Light. It's about a woman who passed away during surgery, and she went to heaven, had her experience, and then came back. My dad [Robert Kardashian] would try to get me to read it, and I wouldn't. Then when he passed away, I was cleaning out my room in his house, and I found it. I read it, and it helped me. I felt like my dad was okay.
KW: Yeah, I don't have an answer for that.
KKW: Your mom's book or your book?
KW: Yeah, but that's like, you know—
KKW: Too self-promotional?
KW: Yeah, too promotional.
Celebrity crush when you were young?
KKW: I thought Johnny Depp was so cute when I was younger. Kanye, didn't you like Pam Anderson?
KW: Yeah! That's what I would say.
Historical figure you identify with?
KKW: This one is hard.
KW: Us? Muhammad Ali, Marilyn Monroe—all day. Next question.
Hidden talent? I don't know if you guys hide your talents, but if you do …
KKW: I can smell when someone has a cavity. It's a very specific smell—not a bad-breath smell—but something that is really strong.
KW: I can analyze people's intentions. Immediately. That's just a warning. To everyone.
KKW: I would say looking fat sometimes. I really do take it seriously. I try to do what I can and diet and stay in shape, and it does make me insecure when I'm heavy.
KW: I used to have insecurity about my finances, then I announced that I had debt, and now I don't have any insecurities.
KKW: Then you didn't have any debt; it seemed to all figure it out.
You just put it out there, like The Secret.
KKW: Don't think that will work for everyone.
KW: People will definitely use that against you if someone knows that. But the one thing I don't have an insecurity about is public perception. I'm not going to conform to it, you know?
Yes, the more attention you pay to the winds, you can overthink things.
KW: Here's something that's contrary to popular belief: I actually don't like thinking. I think people think I like to think a lot. And I don't. I do not like to think at all.
You're an underthinker.
KW: I think about things to put them in a place where I don't have to think about them anymore. Say if I had a child with a really bad mom, I would have to think more than if I had a child with a good mom. I'm just doing my homework early. I told my trainer today, I'm a mix of a 14-year-old high schooler and a 60-year-old guy. It can never fall into the 30s or the 40s. It has to be 100 percent 60 or 100 percent 14, no in between.
Can you please make that into a T-shirt? Okay, how much do you really sleep? On social media you are asleep all the time.
KKW: He can fall asleep anywhere.
KW: I can sleep. I love sleep; it's my favorite.
KKW: He took me to a fashion meeting in Paris once. I'd never met these people; I was so nervous. It was the beginning of our relationship, and I didn't know anyone in fashion. And he passed out at the table. I'm like, "I'm so sorry, we're jet-lagged." You don't know the number of times I've had to say that. I always flat-out lie that he's jet-lagged, even if we've been home for months. [Laughs.] Me? I'm up at like 6 A.M. With my trainer, running up the hill you drove up to get here.
Most annoying habit?
KKW: I think he gets really annoyed because I just hate fittings. I'll just be like, "Ah, I can't find something to wear." I get so worked up every time I'm rushing; I get annoyed with rushing. Then I get in a bad mood—I'm so cranky. I hate being late.
KW: It's so hard to do fittings [for Yeezy] because we want to do things that are inspiring, that people could look at and say, "Wow, I like that color palette, I could put that together." And there are so many images of things that it's almost impossible to have your clothes go up against the amount you're seeing and carry it into one language. That's why I'm always fighting either to have a house work with us or to head a house. It's a lifestyle I can totally see: the future, modern Versailles, modern Versace, modern Calabasas, paparazzi, celebrity language. I just want to build a collection that's around me and my wife and my kids. Because Kris and the family, they have the power of communication. This is the number-one communications company.
You're saying you've got the power of the idea.
KW: The idea. I know I wasn't allowed to go to fashion school; I can't cut a dress like Galliano, right? But I had enough wherewithal to go to that studio on my first collection and bring Kim, [stylist] Christine Centenera, Ian Connor, Theophilus London, Virgil Abloh … they all came down to [Vetements/Balenciaga designer] Demna Gvasalia's studio that night and hung out. (And then Demna, as you probably know, he worked on Yeezy Season 1.) Anyway, I want to say a controversial thing for this article …LB:
KKW: Laura's question was, What's annoying?
KW: What designer on the planet can sell, consistently, 40,000 shoes. In two minutes?
KKW: One minute.
Wow. Yeezy does it. Okay, change of subject. Favorite selfie pose?
KKW: I love a selfie in the mirror.
KW: I love her nude selfies. Like, I love the ones from the side, the back ones, and the front. I just love seeing her naked; I love nudity. And I love beautiful shapes. I feel like it's almost a Renaissance thing, a painting, a modern version of a painting. I think it's important for Kim to have her figure. To not show it would be like Adele not singing.
Kanye, nude selfies?
KW: I used to do nude selfies in my single days. You'd get a good cock shot here and there. [Laughs.] Gotta keep it rock 'n' roll.
I'd assume scale is important.
KW: Yeah, it's all about scale. You don't become a rock star for no reason.
Who's more vain?
KKW: I mean, me.
KW: Yeah, I think she has vanity. And with me, I don't give a fuck, bro; it is what it is. I'm the best—now what? I don't know if that's a vain statement. I don't particularly like photos of myself, though.
KKW: Yeah, what is the definition of vain? I want to look up exactly what the definition is. [Googles.] Vain, definition: "having or showing an excessively high opinion of one's appearance, abilities, or worth."
Speaking of pride, tweets you're proud of and tweets you regret.
KKW: I don't regret any tweets. I'm not a tweeter and deleter. So I have no regrets.
KW: She hates tweeters and deleters.
Kim, blonde or brunette?
KKW: Blonde. Brunette is who I am obviously, it's my core. Blonde Kim is this alter ego; she has a vibe to her that I love.
Could you have predicted the reaction to your nude selfie with the black bars?
KKW: I was about to get in the shower; I took a nude selfie, kept it in my phone for over a year. I just liked the picture, so I was like, "Let me put censor bars on it and post it." I don't do things to be like, "This is powerful. I'm going to show you guys that this is my 'message.'" I'm not that type of person. I'm empowered by it, but I'm not doing it specifically to show power.
It was a weird response because we've all seen your body before.
KKW: Yeah, that's what was so shocking. And when I put the bars on it, it was more covered up than a bikini!
What was the last thing you bought yourselves and each other?
KKW: The last thing I bought was a pair of Isabel Marant sandals. I don't wear flats, so it's hard for me to buy sandals. Kanye is the hardest person to buy something for, so I bought …
KW: You extended the bathroom and bedroom on the house.
KKW: I rented an island for his birthday. A far, far away place where no one can find us.
KW: You see, those are the type of statements that make people not like us, more so than the "I'm the best" statement. It's more the "Oh, yeah, I just rented an island for his birthday …" You know in Meet the Parents, Owen Wilson's character? All of our shit is like Owen Wilson's character; he's like, "This is when we jumped off Mount Everest, and we wore turtle flight suits or whatever."
Is there anything you wish the world didn't know about you?
KKW: Definitely. I was going to say some ugly looks and stuff.
KW: Some pregnancy stuff. You killed this second pregnancy, though. Your body slammed that crap. You made that second pregnancy your bitch.
KKW: I wish I had a little bit more privacy.
Okay, TV shows you binge-watch?
What would you do if you were invisible?
KW: Women's locker room.
KKW: I would probably creepily follow my kids around, see how they act, see what they talk about. I record my daughter just talking because the things she says are so funny. I could watch her talk all day.
KW: Yeah, maybe. See, Kim? Yours is so much nicer than mine.
What makes you both laugh?
KKW: Kanye just says the funniest analogies that are so random. I should start keeping a book—in 20 years, I'll have a big book of analogies. They always make me laugh.
KW: Kim's just a funny person in general.
KKW: But I don't get credit for being funny; it's, like, not a thing.
KW: I think my sense of humor is really dark and super twisted and stuff like that. It's like, "Is this a funny joke for real? Or am I just rich?" See? That was funny.
What would you bring to a desert island?
KKW: My kids. My phone.
KW: Not me. [Laughs.] I would bring my laptop and the Internet.
How would you like to be remembered?
KKW: I'd like to be remembered as someone who was smart in business, works hard, and can be sexy and a mom. A powerful but still sexy, nonconforming woman. And I would hope that Kanye would be remembered for being smart and sticking to what he believes.
KW: Determined. I would say my determination is way higher than my smartness.
KKW: A lot of people have strong beliefs, but they don't have the confidence to really stick to them. I really respect Kanye for that.LB:
I personally really enjoy your use of capital letters.
KW: Yeah, all caps. Next time I'm doing all raps in all caps.
KKW: Kanye, what do you want to be remembered for?
KW: Your answer was so much better. I was going to say the whole thing about global warming and we're all going to be gone.
Sittings editor: Ben Perreira; sittings assistant: Ron Hartleben; hair: Eugene Souleiman; makeup: Tom Pecheux; manicures: Anny Errandonea; casting and production: Evelien Joos; production assistant: Laura Hinman; on-set production: V+E Production; set design: Louis Benzoni; retouching: Lutz + Schmitt; art direction: Jim Kaemmerling and Jeremy Kaye; design: Lina Wahlgren.
Creative Direction Stephen Gan