Saint West is the newest addition to the Kardashian-West family, and though the name has raised a few eyebrows, it may actually have some deeper meaning and a nod to Kanye’s upbringing.
The couple kept the internet waiting over the weekend, with more than two full days passing between Saint West’s birth and Kim’s understated announcement on her website that included just four emoji pictures and the baby’s name.
At first glance, many noted that the name appeared to have religious origins. Saint is an official title in the Roman Catholic Church given to religious people of special significance (there are also a number of strict protocol and a fairly long procedure for canonization), and in a more general sense refers to people who have gone to heaven after death.
But though Kanye West was once open about being a Christian and one of his earliest hits was “Jesus Walks,” he now no longer identifies with a particular faith.
“You’re not given a decision of what religion you want. Your parents just give it to you…I feel like religion is more about separation and judgment than bringing people together and understanding,” West said (via the Mirror).
There may be another meaning. Some believe Saint could also have a tie to Kanye West’s interest in the world of fashion. The Mirror noted.
“Saint Laurent Paris is the brand of designer Yves Saint Laurent and we all know how much Kim and Kanye love fashion AND Paris. One Twitter user joked: “Kim Kardashian named her baby saint because it’s sponsored by YSL already has a contract w them wait for Saint by Yves Saint Laurent.” Oh the lols.”
There is already speculation online that Saint West was chosen as an homage to Yves Saint Laurent, though Bustle throws some cold water on this theory. The site noted that Kanye was once very close the Saint Laurent creative director Hedi Slimane, but that the two had a falling out in 2013 when Slimane told Kanye he could only attend Saint Laurent’s show if he skipped out an all others.
Kanye spoke out against Slimane, telling W magazine, “Nobody can tell me where I can and can’t go. Man, I’m the number-one living and breathing rock star.” But it is possible that Kanye still feels a close connection to the company or the late French designer himself, even if he disagrees with the company’s current management.
Amazingly, amid the rampant speculation about Kim and Kanye’s baby name, it appears one celebrity news outlet actually got it right. While celebrity news is generally scattershot with Kim and Kanye — where maybe one out of 10 stories turns out to have a kernel of truth — Hollywood Life actually had a source that claimed both Legend and Saint were high on the list.
“Kanye and Kim have still not settled on a name for their son. The one thing they have agreed on is that they do not want it to be a normal name or spelling,” the source said. “They are going to add to the celebrity baby name database and make it as unique and different as possible.”
“Legend and Saint have been thrown around,” they added. “They still haven’t decided a concrete name and may wait till the baby is born and live with the child for a little bit and then make the decision. The main goal is for the baby to be healthy and for Kim to be healthy throughout labor and then the name will come.”
But Kim and Kanye could have just picked Saint West because it’s an increasingly popular name. The site Nameberry noted that the name Saint and names of particular Roman Catholic Saints are seeing a rise in prominence, even among people who are not particularly religious.
— Andrew Flowers (@andrewflowers) December 7, 2015
Though it may be growing in popularity, Saint West will have some pretty rare company. The site FiveThirtyEight noted that there were just 32 boys born last year with the name Saint (by comparison, 13 kids born last year were named North). The Spanish version of the word saint, Santos, is a bit more popular, with 235 babies given that name last year.
[Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP]