Last night, LVMH announced Louis Vuitton’s new Menswear designer: Pharrell Williams. This decision comes over a year after Virgil Abloh’s untimely death in November 2021, who had been redefining the codes of luxury fashion since 2018. Pharrell’s first collection for Louis Vuitton will be revealed in June during the Men’s SS24 Fashion Week.
After Abloh’s passing, rumours were flying around over who would take the late designer’s spot. Just about everyone had their pick, some wishing for British designer Martine Rose or American designer Telfar Clemens – even Ye’s name was being thrown around. Ultimately, it is the Grammy-winning artist, designer and philanthropist Pharrell Williams who will lead the French luxury house’s menswear division.
While some considered it a surprise, the appointment makes sense for both parties. Pharrell was a close friend and collaborator of Abloh’s, always supporting the late designer’s runway show for LV. Pharrell has also previously worked for the luxury house, notably in 2004 under Marc Jacobs’ helm, when he released the Millionaire line with A Bathing Ape’s Nigo which consisted of best-selling sunglasses. The two reconnected in 2008 for the Blason collection, where Pharrell designed the jewellery.
Since his early days of being a boyband member in The Neptunes and N.E.R.D., Pharrell has established himself as a multidisciplinary artist who bridges the gap between music, fashion and culture. Alongside Nigo, Pharrell created the clothing line Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream Footwear in 2003, merging skatewear with a high-end twist. His extensive portfolio of fashion work does not end there though, as Pharrell has been a long time collaborator of adidas Originals, he became the first man to appear in a Chanel accessories ad in 2017 and has previously worked with Moncler, including its new Art of Genius initiative which will be revealed this weekend at London Fashion Week.
In a statement released by LVMH, Louis Vuitton Chairman and CEO Pietro Beccari embraced the new designer, stating “I am glad to welcome Pharrell back home, after our collaborations in 2004 and 2008 for Louis Vuitton, as our new Men’s Creative Director. His creative vision beyond fashion will undoubtedly lead Louis Vuitton towards a new and very exciting chapter.” The choice made by the luxury conglomerate to assign Pharrell makes sense: the artist has a global reach which spans outside the realm of fashion. By doing this, Louis Vuitton will be able to connect to an even bigger audience, turning its fashion brand into a worldwide pop culture phenomenon.
Pharrell has yet to make a statement concerning the news but his good friend and fellow musician Pusha T took to his Instagram Story to share his excitement, stating “this is happening, and it’s definitely a big deal.”
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