Kanye West is the first black fashion billionaire.
Those who have made massive fortunes from fashion are an exclusive bunch; Bernard Arnault leads the herd as the richest man in the world and the head of conglomerate LVMH. The French businessman has amassed $110 Billion thanks to his glittering portfolio of over 70 brands including Louis Vuitton, Fenty, Givenchy, Sephora, and Dior.
Other fashion billionaires? Amancio Ortega of Zara, Phil Knight of Nike, Francois Pinault of Kering (Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Gucci), and Ralph Lauren.
In April, Kanye West joined the Billionaire’s Club , with Forbes tabulating his net worth at $3 Billion. While West is most known for his music (and his antics), according to Business Insider, the majority of West’s fortune comes from his ownership of his fashion brand, Yeezy, which was valued at $3 Billion. West is the sole owner.
West’s relationship to the fashion world has been one characterized both by controversy and blockbuster success. His status as a taste maker and trendsetter are undeniable, and his innovative ideas, though met with derision at first, eventually find legions of loyal fans.
Despite his alien-esque foam runners selling out in less than a minute and lines forming around the block for his Yeezy sneakers, Kanye always seems to take the stance that he is fighting an uphill battle in the fashion industry. Who could forget when he notoriously complained about gaining access on Sway in the Morning, yelling, “You Ain’t Got the Answers, Sway!” when the radio host asked him why he couldn’t bootstrap his own fashion brand.
But it seems Ye has had all the answers all along. Through his wildly successful collaboration with Adidas, and now his forthcoming collection with the GAP, West is on the path to industry domination.
What do you think? Is Kanye West the future Steve Jobs of style?
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