Kanye West is reportedly rumored to replace Virgil Abloh as Louis Vuitton (PARIS:MC.PA -0.70%) Men’s creative director.

Prior to his role at Louis Vuitton, Abloh and West were longtime collaborators. The pair served as interns at Italian luxury brand Fendi, back in 2009, marking the beginning of their decades-long friendship. The Sun reports that the duo “masterminded” their successes in the creative industry together, later cementing Abloh as one of the most prolific designers of this generation. In 2010, Abloh became the artistic director to West’s company, Donda, turning all of West’s ideas into reality. Abloh also worked with Ye and JAY-Z for the Watch the Throne album. A source told The Sun,

“Kanye is devastated about Virgil’s death because they had been friends for years and worked together a lot.

They shared a similar vision and now Kanye feels he owes it to Virgil to continue his work at Louis Vuitton.”

With Ye and Abloh’s history, it is not surprising that the rapper feels this way. Aside of being the long-term collaborator of West, Abloh helmed his own designs and artistic vision with the launch of his own brand Off-White™ in 2013. In 2018, Abloh became the first Black American creative director to sit at the role at a French luxury fashion house when he was appointed the leadership role at Louis Vuitton. Louis Vuitton is currently valued at nearly $50 billion USD with $15 billion USD in global sales.

West’s history with the Louis Vuitton house takes the industry back a decade ago when he collaborated with them on a line of widely successful sneakers. The sneakers, which originally retailed for $1,100 USD in 2009, are now worth over $30,000 USD. Since then, Ye has also made waves in the fashion industry with the launch of his Yeezy label in 2015.

It remains to be seen if this rumor will be acknowledged.

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