Following a two-year leadership vacuum on the menswear side of things at Louis Vuitton – among other things, seeing the brand release its first ‘guest edited’ Fall collection – the titanic luxury brand has just announced its new Men’s Creative Director will be Pharrell Williams – award-winning rapper, singer, producer and all-round multihyphenate behind such popular hits as Blurred Lines and Get Lucky.
According to reporting on Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal, Williams will present his first collection for Louis Vuitton at the upcoming edition of Paris Fashion Week, to take place later this June.
Reading from a prepared statement, Pietro Beccari, the brand’s new Chairman & CEO, hailed Williams’ appointment as a homecoming – citing the creative wunderkind’s previous collaborations with Louis Vuitton in 2004 and 2008. “I am glad to welcome Pharrell back home…as our new men’s creative director,” said Beccari. “His creative vision beyond fashion will undoubtedly lead Louis Vuitton toward a new and very exciting chapter.”
The appointment follows one of the most high-profile searches for new talent at a major luxury house in years – all in an effort to fill the void left by the untimely passing of American designer Virgil Abloh. Widely credited with bringing a younger, more energetic voice to Louis Vuitton (informed by global black culture and streetwear), Abloh headed the brand’s men’s fashion department from 2018 until his death in 2021.
It’s difficult to gauge popular reactions to Williams’ appointment at this early juncture, even though the musician-slash-designer already has a well-documented history designing apparel. Synonymous with 2000s streetwear culture through his work with Japanese designer Nigo, G-Star Raw, and his own (still-existent) brand Billionaire Boys Club; Williams has long held numerous positions of influence in the fashion industry.
More recently, in 2020 he ventured into the beauty industry with Humanrace – a gender-neutral skincare brand, driven by cruelty-free ingredients and sustainable packaging.