Kanye West told you guys he was a “genius,” and now the proof is on the table. In case anyone ever wondered if there was some truth behind Kanye’s self–proclaimed title or if it’s just another one of Ye’s crazy antics, we might have the answer for you.
In light of Off-White designer Virgil Abloh being appointed as the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear, there seems to be talk surrounding Kanye’s feelings towards the news: Whispers along the lines of Mr. West being jealous of Virgil’s success. Could Kanye be wondering why he couldn’t obtain the same success for the Yeezy brand? After all, some do consider Virgil Ye’s protégé, bringing Virgil up from those same Chi town streets and giving him his first big platform in fashion.
According to Refinery 29, the answer lies in the discussion surrounding race, in which Kanye was said to be too outspoken, thus prematurely severing opportunities with Louis Vuitton, Nike and Ikea, all brands and partnerships Virgil has found success in. But unfortunately, even if this were the case, does that make Kanye a hater? Or is he in fact a genius, masterminding and discretely owning the fashion industry one planned execution at a time, starting with Virgil.
My vote – genius. Mr. West is too arrogant to be jealous. And to discredit the race claim, if race were the sole purpose of failed partnerships, my guess is that Ye would say, “F*ck it.” He’s certainly not one to shy away from speaking his mind even when the consequences may result in lost checks, being bashed by white America and being called insane. No need to remind you of the Taylor Swift moment.
I am not here to credit Kanye with Virgil’s success in the fashion industry or as a designer. Creativity is not a gift that can be gifted to someone, so Ye does not deserve that honor. To be able to sustain his credibility in the industry and make history as the first African-American to hold an artistic director title at LV and to be one of only two to run a powerful French fashion house is talent. However, I will acknowledge Kanye as the person that put Virgil on. Ye is the individual who first saw the designer’s potential describing him in a 2002 interview with the New York Times as “one of the smartest, fastest, most innovative people I’ve created with.” Later, Kanye named Virgil as his creative consultant, further leading to the collaborative establishment of DONDA.
So, for the people who suggest Yeezy might be jealous, I say he’s a visionary, a strategist. Virgil’s new title is simply solidification that Kanye was right. He saw the potential and brought a Black kid from the Chi along for the ride because he knew he could make it to the top in an industry dominated by white men. The irony of that – shunned for being racially outspoken all while silently putting a Black “amateur” designer in a position to make history.
If you think I’m crazy, look at what Kanye did to promote Yeezy Season 6. While people sat and formed negative opinions about why he didn’t have a traditional runway show during New York Fashion Week, Ye was coming up with a master plan. One that cost zero dollars as opposed to a runway production and one that would triple the press around his collection. And that was simply dressing his wife, Kim Kardashian West, in Yeezy Season 6 looks for a week as she ran errands in Cali, knowing that his wife is one of the most photographed celebs. Then, he hired eight of Kim’s famous friends to wear those same exact looks with her same blonde wig. It was a social take-over and the work of a f*cking genius.
OK, so now do you believe the man when he says he’s a genius? Kanye has a master plan behind every move, and they all seem to become a win. Perhaps that’s the intriguing secret to the rapper’s success. Once industry people get smart and start understanding his strategy, there will be only one thing to say … Yeezy taught me.
(Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
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