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Last week, Louis Vuitton surprised a lot of people when it appointed Pharrell creative director of menswear, finally answering the question of who would succeed Virgil Abloh. I wrote about this in the Back Row story, “Pharrell for Louis Vuitton and the Celebrification of Everything.” While I was surprised if not stunned, Style Zeitgeist founder and fashion critic Eugene Rabkin was not surprised at all. Prior to the announcement, he had casually predicted in an Instagram Q&A that Abloh’s successor would be A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott, or Kanye West (this was before Kanye’s spectacular fall from grace late last year). “It was half a joke, but only half a joke because I could totally see this coming,” he said in our latest podcast.
“Many cultural disciplines are easy to fake,” Rabkin continued. “Fashion is easy to fake because you just hire a team of designers and you come out at the end of the show, take the bow, take the credit.”
I noted that one person who deserves credit for paving the way for the celebrification of everything, particularly in fashion, is Anna Wintour, whose successful formula for Vogue has long involved merging the entertainment and fashion industries. “Celebrities are the new aristocracy,” Rabkin said. “Mark my words, Rihanna’s going to be the next editor of Vogue when Anna goes. This is my prediction. I want it on the record.”
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