Kanye West is a lot of things: A rapper, a producer, Kim Kardashian-West's husband, and also head of the now-billion-dollar Yeezy brand. The 42-year-old Chicago native launched his Nike-assisted Yeezy shoe line back in 2009, which, according to Forbes, has blossomed into an empire in the years since. How did the musician achieve that feat? 

West's attention to detail and affinity for fashion dates as far back as childhood for West, as it is said that he would often get in trouble for sketching shoes while in class. In 2007, he designed a shoe for A Bathing Ape, a Japanese clothing company, which was his initial entrance into the world of shoe design. 

The encouragement of creative directors and designers over the years gave him the needed confidence to truly pursue his passion. Recalling a specific incident, West said he once found himself on a plane with Mark Parker, CEO of Nike, where he sketched a shoe for him.

"When he saw me sketch, he said, 'This guy's interesting, let's do a shoe with him.'"

Prototyping began in 2008 with Air Jordan designer Tinker Hatfield. In 2009, the rapper released his first collaboration with Nike, the Air Yeezy I. Then, in 2012, the rapper released the Air Yeezy II, which now resells for thousands.

Following that, he brought his idea to Adidas in 2013 in order to further his vision for Yeezy when it came to creating new lines. The "Stronger" rapper eventually decided to part ways with Nike as he "wanted to do more." Eventually, in 2015, he debuted the Yeezy Boost 350 with Adidas.

A recent tweet from the official Yeezy Mafia Twitter account, which can be seen below, shows West sitting in the midst of his creations.

According to Forbes, sneakers are "the key to West's wealth," as his upstart is projected to exceed $1.5 billion in 2019, but that certainly is not the only fashion-focused arena that West finds himself in

In 2015, he debuted the first "Yeezy Season," which is a showcase for his apparel. In the years following, West would pair album parties with launch parties to tie both of his worlds together into one cohesive duo. 

"I am a product guy at my core," said West, who has previously compared himself to Steve Jobs.

Continuing, he added, "To make products that make people feel an immense amount of joy and solve issues and problems in their life, that's the problem-solving that I love to do."

Through the limited releases and unexpected drops, Kanye West has built a fashion empire that has made itself known. In May, it was reported that his glow-in-the-dark 350 V2 immediately sold out, and in June, customers in Moscow lined up for blocks to get a sneaker that had previously debuted in the U.S. 

With his 100 percent ownership of Yeezy, only time will tell where the brand goes. As for the future according to West's own projections, "We've only experienced a small glimmer of light."