“If music be the food of love, play on,” wrote Shakespeare a couple hundred years ago. “If you fuckin’ with this girl, then you better be paid,” rapped Kanye West a few centuries later. In the modern dating landscape, musical prowess alone is no longer enough to attract the love of your life. As we’ve learned from watching and marvelling at Ye over the years, if you want to bag a Kardashian, a Rose or even a Fox, you’ve got to pull out all the stops.
A quick update for those who don’t spend lunch breaks hoovering up gossip columns: Kimye are over (old news), Kim and Pete Davidson are an item, and West has recently launched into a very public fling with Uncut Gems star Julia Fox. As far as we know, the pair have been on just two (2, ii, the number above one) dates since meeting on New Year’s Eve, but according to a 200-word diary entry Fox wrote for Interview magazine about their second date, “Everything with [them] has been so organic”. Not Whole Foods organic, though. She’s talking about that super chill vibe when your date directs an impromptu photoshoot for you in a busy restaurant while other diners allegedly cheer you on. One woman’s stress dream is another’s dream date, I guess.
But while we can speculate about the authenticity of Foxy West (called it), one thing we cannot doubt is Ye’s ability to woo a woman. When it comes to romancing with grand gestures, the man is pretty much unmatched in the celeb dating pool. What West lacks in skinny, sickly sex appeal (the look du jour), he makes up for with gifts and flowers. Lots of ’em.
Want to learn a few tricks of the trade before your next date? Here are five simple ways to court like the most OTT player in the game. (Disclaimer: most of these tips were tried and tested on Kim Kardashian. We’re still waiting for details of Foxy West’s third date for more.)
1. Give your date the makeover montage experience
For his second date with Julia Fox, Ye took her to see Slave Play, before dining at Michelin-starred restaurant Carbone, where the aforementioned photoshoot took place. Sure, dinner and theatre is a classic date combo that will always win brownie points, but that isn’t the part of the night that Julia called “a real Cinderella moment”. What actually seemed to win her over was when Kanye filled a hotel suite full of clothes to try on and (probably) keep.
If you’re thinking of trying this move, you may worry that it could be read as a subtle way to subliminally trash your date’s personal style. But it’s important to remember that this is Ye’s signature move and it’s worked at least twice, first with Kim K, now with Fox. Are they falling in love with him or Swarovski-studded jackets? Literally who cares?!
Budget alternative: Go to a vintage kilo sale for your second date. Same thing, kind of.
2. Buy a shit tonne of flowers
Giving flowers is a basic romance cue, really. It’s the kind of thing you’d find in Wooing for Dummies or any romcom ever. But obviously, when Kanye gives someone flowers, it’s not a sad, wilting bouquet picked up from Tesco after work. Instead, he opts for gravity-defying, aesthetically pleasing arrangements that will also eventually wither and die, but live forever on the Gram.
Need some inspo? Well, there’s the famous flower wall that provided the backdrop for Kimye’s wedding in 2014 and spawned a million replicas at girlboss brunch spots worldwide; the 1000 red roses he gifted for Valentine’s Day that same year; the floating arrangements that he installed to celebrate both three years of marriage and Kim’s 38th birthday; and the hundreds of single roses he set up in vases for Valentine’s Day 2019, providing the perfect setting for Kenny G to serenade Kim with the sax. Smooth.
Budget alternative: Dried flowers are your best bet for finding striking arrangements on a budget. Plus, they can last for years when cared for properly – just like your love. Awww.
3. Stage a private concert
Another signature Ye move, nothing says “I love you” quite like having a stranger awkwardly serenade your date. West arranged many private concerts for Kim over the years, inviting everyone from the previously-mentioned Kenny G to 50-piece orchestras on dates to provide that wow factor.
We know what you’re thinking: “how is someone without Kanye West’s connections supposed to pull this one off?” Don’t be discouraged. Ye couldn’t convince Lana Del Rey to fly out for his proposal to Kim, but did he let that stop him? No! True love means compromise, even if that means substituting Dua Lipa with a cover of Levitating on the recorder.
Budget alternative: If you don’t have access to pop stars, a 50-piece orchestra or a recorder, then a good ol’ fashioned mixtape or Spotify playlist will do the trick.
4. Finger paint an Hermès bag
Seeing Kim step out with an Hermès bag that Kanye let a then one-year-old North finger paint on was a gut-wrenching moment for the sartorially fluent. At the time, the bag in question (an Herbag, not a Birkin. Phew) retailed for $3,775. For car people, it’s kind of like letting a toddler draw some custom Sharpie decals on a second-hand Mercedes.
But still, it was a very thoughtful idea that added sentimental value to an already pricey gift. It’s also something Kim will likely cherish forever, regardless of who she’s dating. Well played, Ye.
Budget alternative: Upcycle a (cheap) second hand bag with similar finger painting techniques, duh!
5. Bring a deceased family member back to life via hologram
Whether you think it’s cute or creepy, the most truly breathtaking gift Ye gave Kim during their marriage was when he played God and resurrected her father, the late Robert Kardashian, via hologram. Engineered for her 40th birthday, Kim was clearly impressed, tweeting that it was the “most thoughtful gift of a lifetime.” That means it ranks higher than the Balmain makeover, all those roses and North’s Art Attack bag.
But let’s not forget the cherry on top of this insane birthday cake: West programmed Robert’s holo-ghost to tell Kim that she “married the most, most, most, most, most genius man in the whole world, Kanye West.” Four months later, Kim filed for divorce.
Budget alternative: Just, you know, be nice when you meet your partner’s family.