Leave it to British rags to feed the flames of rumor with truckloads of baloney. The latest round of clickbait sees The Sun publishing a fairly ramshackle rumor suggesting that Kanye West is already being tapped to take over for Virgil Abloh only 11 days after news of the late designer's passing rippled through the world.
"[Kanye] is being tipped to take over from Virgil Abloh," The Sun reported on December 8. "The pair are said to have masterminded the move... before Virgil’s death aged just 41."
"They shared a similar vision and now Kanye feels he owes it to Virgil to continue his work at Louis Vuitton,” continues the paper's sole anonymous source.
Other beacons of truth, including the always trustworthy Daily Mail (this is sarcasm, BTW) have also tried to polish this baseless excreta into a proper story.
The original anonymous "source" that sparked this tale isn't purported to work for LV, parent company LVMH or even Kanye himself. Plus, the rapper's camp hasn't responded to The Daily Mail's request for comment.
Even setting the disrespectful timing aside — Virgil passed less than two weeks ago, remember! — this should all be taken with an extremely small grain of salt, at the very least until something with even an iota of substance emerges.
Not even because the source is wrong, necessarily, but because it's just lazy to take the word of some rando. Fake news runs rampant these days, after all.
I don't have my own faceless source to cite but facts first: Kanye did indeed voice his envy of Virgil's role early on in the designer's tenure at Louis Vuitton, which wasn't too surprising because the always outspoken Kanye had designed footwear for the luxury house years earlier and long dreamed of finding fashion industry acceptance (this is years before he'd be casually dining with Anna Wintour).
However, Ye very quickly gave Virgil space to shine, celebrating that landmark LV debut and enthusiastically supporting Virgil's ongoing success for years to come.
"It was this thing where it’s like okay, you’re not the number one rapper, Drake’s the number one rapper, but you’re the number one with shoes, or this or that," Kanye said of his relationship with Virgil in 2018.
"What’s the number one tree over there? Just be one of them. All of them are beautiful."
Not exactly the tone of a guy trying to take over for Virgil, eh?
Further, Louis Vuitton chairman Michael Burke recently emphasized that the remaining LV design team is plenty capable of planning the luxury house's Summer 2022 runway show without a replacement creative director.
“[The staff] don’t have to worry about June,” said Burke, suggesting that the search for Virgil's successor will be a slow, thoughtful process. Why would LV rush to bring in Kanye so quickly?
Keep in mind that Kanye has been buddy-buddy with LVMH's arch-rival, Kering all year.
I don't know what goes on behind the scenes but it strikes me as odd that he'd weigh in on working for LV having already presumably passed on opportunities at Givenchy and Bottega and made his fortune with his YEEZY and GAP output.
Of course, anything's possible.
It's not at all difficult to imagine Kanye being brought in for talks related to Virgil's artistic director role — when I asked Louis Vuitton about the Kanye rumors, it declined to comment. Even if Ye isn't considering the role for himself, he may be consulting on potential heirs.
With that in mind, my point is simply that the initial reporting about these Kanye rumors has been especially sloppy.
There's nothing to report! There are no verifiable sources!
Let's assume it is indeed Virgil's wish for Kanye to replace him at LV. Wonderful. If that's true, then the above points can be disregarded.
However, if Virgil did indeed wish for Kanye to take his place, he didn't make it public prior to his passing — obviously, he would've preferred for the reveal to come in due time once all the necessary boxes had been checked.
We thus ought to wait until that decision is made publicly, rather than blindly follow some anonymous tip.
It's not that there's zero chance of Kanye heading to LV, it's merely that the half-assed reporting leaves much to be desired.
I'd also posit that it's pretty contemptuous to be stirring the pot on this half-baked story given that Virgil passed away just days ago; plenty of friends and fans are still taking it in.
So, will Kanye take Virgil's post? I can't affirm or deny — no one outside of LV or Kanye's camp can.
What we ought to do in this case, instead, is either do our due diligence and seek sources with at least an ounce of veracity or patiently wait for official confirmation. It's the least we can do out of respect for Virgil.