After sparking controversy during Paris Fashion Week when he unveiled a "White Lives Matter" shirt in his Yeezy Season 9 fashion show on Monday (Oct. 3), Kanye "Ye" West took to social media to defend his designs. In one of his Instagram rants, he wrote that Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH, one of the largest conglomerate of luxury brands, "killed" his "best friend" Virgil Abloh.
In the now deleted Tuesday (Oct. 4) morning Instagram post, the 45-year-old rapper and fashion designer wrote "SPANK MY HAND WITH THE RULER(S) I’LL GO SIT IN THE ‘PRINCIPAL(S)’ OFFICE. CAN’T WE TALK ABOUT MORE IMPORTANT THINGS? LIKE HOW LATE THE SHOW WAS, OR HOW BERNARD ARNAULT KILLED MY BEST FRIEND," as the caption of a photo of a statue.
“EVERYONE’S GOT A RIGHT TO AN OPINION RIGHT THERE’S MINE,” West added.
The Off-White designer died of cancer on Nov. 28, 2021, after a two-year private battle with cardiac angiosarcoma, an aggressive and rare form of cancer. He was 41.
Arnault's LVMH owns luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Fendi, Givency, and more. In May 2018, Abloh became the first black person to ever be named the artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear. In July 2021, he was granted creative control of the entire LVMH brand, which also purchased a 60 percent stake in Off-White, the fashion brand Abloh created in 2013.
West declared Arnault his new rival and biggest competitor during his his Yeezy Season 9 fashion show. According to WWD, In a speech before the show, he said "Bernard Arnault is my new Drake. After my first collection, Yeezy One, got more views than Chanel, I had a meeting with Bernard Arnault and he offered me a deal for the Kanye West line, and three months after that, he pulled on the deal. So my second collection didn’t have a producer."
West and Abloh were frequent collaborators. Abloh was even a groomsman in West’s wedding to ex-wife Kim Kardashian in 2014.