Not every ex-darling of Kanye West’s wants to stack up on Twitter minions or become international blog fodder. Some enjoy the private life. But allow us to reintroduce you to Alexis Phifer, mother, fashion designer and former bride-to-be of Mr. West. Why haven’t you seen her face in about three years? Because she wanted it that way. VIBE caught up with Lex to talk life beyond the spotlights, her ex, his other ex, and if she’s worth remembering.
Even though you were making moves pre-spotlight, many folks were introduced to you via Kanye West. How have these last years been with less media attention?
I think after experiencing being with somebody that is a celebrity, it’s really nice to have your anonymity. I’m a mom so I would much rather be able to be out with my son and have nobody recognize me. I really think that’s a cool thing as opposed to doing red carpets or something like that, but only if it’s really pertaining to my line because that’s what I’m trying to sell… I’m not really trying to sell myself.
Guess we can assume there will never be an Alexis reality show?
(Laughs) I’ve been approached a few times… I don’t know, first and foremost I’m a mother and I just feel like it’s important to be represented a certain way and it’s a lot to put your image and the things you say, or how you’re perceived into someone else’s hand and I just haven’t been comfortable with that. Now if it was something like a documentary style, maybe. But I’m not interested in fighting with some girl or talking about my ex because those relationships are personal. I mean the album [808s & Heartbreak] was bad enough at first, but a TV show, I don’t know, it would have to be real tasteful.
True. Reality shows are very tempting though. It’s an easy thing to do for an extra check.
It is very tempting, but I’m also kind of shy, so I’d probably just be awkward honestly. It definitely is tempting, especially since I’m a designer and I need every check I can get because it’s so expensive to have a line. But God will order my footsteps, however that’s supposed to pan out, it will.
Another one of Kanye’s exes, Amber Rose, once went on the radio and said something to the effect of “You see Kanye’s other ex, he was with her for six years, took her the same places and no one even remembers her name now…” Did that sting?
I believe that you get what you want out of a situation and Kanye will tell you, that I didn’t [want that attention]. It’s weird. I’ll get on the red carpet and over-criticize myself. I don’t want that attention. She wanted that and that’s what she got out of it. But if I want to go to King magazine [Ed Note: This interview was conducted prior to Amber Rose’s June 2011 King cover] right now and be in a sexy bathing suit I’m sure I’d generate some type of interest. It’s just the decisions you make that put you where you are. She is where she’s at because that’s where she wants to be and I’m where I’m at because that’s where I want to be also. I was kind of like “Girl please.” I just laughed that off, brushed that one right off my shoulders. She doesn’t really know what she’s saying, so I can’t even be mad at her. She doesn’t even know the half.
What was your reaction to seeing those two for the first time?
I think that at that point, you know sometimes you go through things and you’re like “I just want to do something different” and I think that’s what he was experiencing at that time so he just did something different. Not to say that she’s bad and I’m good, nothing like that, but that’s just what he wanted at that time.
If you had to give any type of advice to Amber since she’s now an infamous Kanye West ex, what you would tell her?
I have no comment on that. I just have no words for her. But I wish her luck in her future, everybody deserves somebody.
Has it been hard getting rid of that tag of being ‘Ye’s fiancée? Is that something you consciously wanted to rid yourself of?
No, it was just a part of my life, but I’m really confident in who I am and what it is I do. Anybody who meets me and gets to know me, I don’t think it would sway their decision either way on whether they like me or not. Either they will or they won’t.
Let’s put one more rumor to rest – did you ever have a gag order?
Hell no! Because seriously when Kanye and I first met he wasn’t as major as he is now and we were real friends, so how do I ask my friend who’s been there for so long and all of sudden be like ‘You can’t say this.’ Like no, I’m not doing that. He wouldn’t even ask.
Glad to hear. So how’s the love life now?
I’m happy, but I will not settle for less and I have whole list of what I want…
Is it a longass list like Chili’s?
(Laughs) I mean, you know, it’s not unrealistic.
I get it, you just don’t want to lower your standards.
Right. I feel like you get what you want out of something, so I’m not going to waste my time.
Think you’d date another rapper?
I don’t think I would date another rapper. I don’t foresee it.
What makes you say that?
I mean, I don’t know, I guess it’s like, you never want anybody to judge you, so if the right rapper came along… but even Kanye was kind of a different type of guy. He wasn’t your typical rapper. He was just different. And there aren’t a lot of guys in that field that are different in the way that he was. The reason why I even gave Kanye my number was because he didn’t seem threatening.
I’m with you on that. Are the two of you cool now?
Um, we don’t have beef.
What are the three most important lessons you’ve learned from being in this crazy industry?
I’ve learned that no matter what, you always have to be yourself and hold your head up high and have respect for yourself. I’ve learned that the industry can get a bad rep, but if you’re able to be around certain people and experience new things, just take it as something that’s good and learn from it and be inspired by it because there is definitely inspiration. And about being in a high profile relationship… just keep your business to yourself. -VIBE