Philipp Plein has been scammed out of nearly $1 million dollars in connection with his New York Fashion Week show, which was advertised to include a Kanye West performance. A behind-the-scenes drama has been unfolding leading up to the Fall/Winter 2019 show for German-born Plein’s eponymous label. Just days ahead of the show, things began to fall apart when invites for the show began to circulate with Kanye West’s name on them as the musical guest.
It was not long before West’s wife Kim Kardashian revealed on social media that despite the invitation for Plein’s show stating that West would perform, no such thing is, in fact, happening. Kardashian set the record straight on Wednesday, tweeting that Kanye is “not performing at any fashion show this season. Just a rumor.”
While that may have appeared to put the issue to bed, it’s far from over, and will almost certainly lead to litigation, as according to the New York Post, “An associate and former friend of West [was the one who] contacted Plein, pretending to be the rapper’s rep and negotiating for him to ‘perform’ at the show for a seven-figure price tag.” The Post reports that “Plein reportedly fell for the scam and made a deal with the faux rep,” paying up $900,000 ahead of Monday’s runway show.
At the time of publication of this article, the $1 million scam had not resulted in litigation, but it does join a growing list of fashion and fashion-adjacent frauds. From wannabe-socialite named Anna Delvey bilking New York business people and upscale hotels of hundreds of thousands of dollars and Fyre Fest scamming $26 million from investors and millions from potential music fest-goers to brands routinely paying big-name influencers upwards of $70,000 to post fake reviews about rival brands, and Gwyneth Paltrow’s $250 million Goop brand was revealed in a stateside lawsuit and an international investigation to be promoting health benefits for products without actually doing any of the necessary fact-checking, the scams are seemingly unending.
Reps for Plein, whose always-very-late and always very over-the-top shows routinely include musical performances, and West have not commented.
UPDATED (Feb. 9, 2019): Per Pitchfork, Kanye West associate Malik Yusef is the individual who “misrepresented himself to Plein as Kanye’s rep” to book West to appear at the brand’s New York Fashion Week event,