Kanye Reveals DONDA Car, Steven Smith as Head of Industrial Design


“Thank God I’m not too cool for the seatbelt,” rapped Kanye West “Through the wire.” To think that Ye would go from rapping about surviving a car accident to designing his own cars in less than two decades – mind spinning.

Then again, this is the man behind YEEZY Home and the same guy who sets out to create a full line of luxury homewares and NFTs (seriously).

But, for now, there is the DONDA car.

The “DONDA foam car” was released on July 5, the same day it apparently confirmed the veteran shoe designer Steven Smith at the head of DONDA Industrial Design, a branch of DONDA which I frankly did not know existed.

In fact, who knew DONDA was doing anything other than loose creative direction? It’s hard enough to track the enigmatic footprint that is so discreet that even DONDA Academy, its own school, is hard to find official information.

But, like YEEZY, it looks like DONDA is floundering in the realm of industrial design, or at least automotive innovation.

Not too surprising, given West’s own predilection for custom cars, but interesting enough that West seems to be going beyond projects with the YEEZY name, perhaps distancing himself from adidas-affiliated projects.

Note that West has sole ownership and creative control of YEEZY, with his contract with the Three Stripes in place until at least 2026.

So who is Steven Smith?

A nearly six-year veteran of what he calls the “YEEZY Lab,” where Smith serves as design director, the self-proclaimed “Godfather of Dad’s Shoes” has designed major sneaker silhouettes for nearly every sportswear company. that matter.

To be specific, Smith was involved in the creation of New Balance’s ubiquitous 574 and 997, Reebok’s Instapump Fury, and Nike’s Air Spiridon Cage 2.

At YEEZY, Smith created the inimitable BOOST 700, colloquially known as the Wave Runner, arguably the most classic running shoe offered under the YEEZY umbrella.

“[Kanye] pushes me and we go to new places and together as a team we all create things that people have never seen before,” Smith told Highsnobiety in 2021.

” You bring [people] in the future and they don’t quite understand the future until it’s in front of them.”

With all that said, I wonder what Ye’s pal Elon Musk had to do with the DONDA foam car revealed in the images above.

The DONDA car, being a concept, may not be produced, but its description acknowledges that it is “designed” and “made in the USA” (“amen”), which makes me think there may be at least a crossover with Elon Musk’s Tesla home installs, especially given the friendliness between the two billionaires.

Pure speculation all the way, but Ye loves bringing his friends into various projects and who better than the man who could ruin Twitter?

Sure, brands as big as Jeep, Ford and Honda would make at least some of their cars in America, but Kanye isn’t as complacent with them as he is with Musk.

These guys share everything; they both possess infuriatingly contrarian political philosophies, for example, a fondness for relatively young influencers, and both are perpetually online.

It’s true! Although he doesn’t post on Instagram, Ye clearly never parades. Recently, he made the news simply by commenting on his favorite garden hose nozzle adjustment.

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