Were architects that started designing t-shirts instead of buildings.

from Kanye West – Speech at Harvard Graduate School of Design on Rap Genius

Meaning

As Kanye mentioned in the Zane Interview, many of the clothing designers of his caliber that he knew, including himself did not have the type of budget to design greater things than clothing and t-shirts. His campaign and passion behind his interview was to be able to let it be publicly known that they deserve to be seen as people of importance. Kanye iterates that clothing designers are just as important as architects because design in any form or fashion is important and contributing to the growth of society.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2T0fMkZoMo

To help improve the meaning of these lyrics, visit “Speech at Harvard Graduate School of Design” by Kanye West and leave a comment on the lyrics box