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Can Kanye West succeed Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton?

Some rumors say yes, but the chances are very slim

Can Kanye West succeed Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton? Some rumors say yes, but the chances are very slim

Since the first days after the death of Virgil Abloh, the question that no one had dared to ask in honor of good taste began to spread on social networks: "Who will take his place at Louis Vuitton?". The Sun, the English tabloid not famous for its fashion page, was ready to answer the question with a name that is definitely impressive, that of Kanye West. According to a source close to the newspaper, Ye would have been chosen as Abloh's successor to the artistic direction of LV menswear thanks to what is defined as "a masterminded move, which would install the singer at the heart of the fashion industry". "Kanye is devastated about Virgil's death," the source continues, "they shared a similar vision and now Kanye feels he owes it to Virgil to continue his work at Louis Vuitton.”

Although romantic, the news has no basis of credibility but rather resembles in every way a fake news. The friendship between Kanye and Virgil is well known, as well as the rapper's passion for Louis Vuitton, the same that earned him the nickname of "Louis Vuitton Don" and that in 2009 led him to collaborate with the French fashion house for the creation of three sneakers, the Jasper, the Mr. Hudson and the Don. Over the years, however, the contacts between West and LV have practically disappeared, but on the contrary, we have seen a progressive approach of Ye towards the Kering group, the parent company of Balenciaga, with which West has built a relationship that started from a revolution of his outfits up to his friendship with Demna, the creator of the creative direction of two of Donda's listening parties. When it wasn't Balenciaga, Kanye's outfits saw the use of other brands belonging to Kering, Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta, even making one suspect some kind of commercial relationship between the rapper and the Pinault group. Therefore, a move "to the other side of the fence", from the LVMH group that controls Louis Vuitton, as well as Fendi, Givenchy and Dior to name a few, seems highly unlikely, if not impossible. 

Another reason why this news resembles more a fan-fiction is the unpredictability of Kanye West, an almost uncontrollable personality who could hardly find his dimension within an environment like the one of Louis Vuitton, where the rapper would not be free to be himself. To get an idea just think of the way in which his partnership with Gap has changed shape and substance in less than a year, going from being a ten-year agreement with a continuous collection to a series of drops limited to the United States managed almost exclusively through pre-orders. West would also have to put his music career on hold, something the rapper might consider given his friendship with Abloh, but that still wouldn't make more credible news based only on "an anonymous source" in which the last word goes to a group whose primary interest remains profit anyway. While remaining a fascinating hypothesis, the one of Kanye West as the new artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear remains therefore a news closer to fake news than to reality. If we wanted to imagine more plausible scenarios, waiting for official news, it would not be out of the question an internal management by the team of Abloh, so as to carry on the vision of the designer, waiting to appoint his successor.