Just a quarter-year into his tenure as the new Men’s Creative Director at Louis Vuitton, Pharrell Williams — first of his name, Lord of the Neptunes, Keeper of the Eternally Youthful Visage — has delivered what netizens have been clamouring for; with a men’s SS24 show that definitively sets the bar for all subsequent brand presentations at this month’s upcoming Paris Fashion Week festivities.
The overwhelming majority of pundits have been unequivocal in their praise of Pharrell’s inaugural menswear show for LV: a frankly Homerian odyssey that was as much about its mythic procession of celebrity guest appearances (e.g. Rihanna, Tyler the Creator, Takashi Murakami… the list goes on) as it was clothing, leather goods and the invigorating spectacle of pop culture.
Despite the enormity of the SS24 presentation — the show was held on the historic Pont Neuf overlooking River Seine — leading voices in the industry have been quick to point out how Pharrell successfully honed in on several clear, coherent themes for his first outing as CD.
A shrewd archivist and historian, Pharrell made Louis Vuitton’s signature Damier print the bedrock of this show (side-stepping those expectations that come with deploying the Maison’s better-known, arguably less interesting LV monogram).
Drawing on technical lessons gleaned from his experience at Billionaire Boys Club, Pharrell treated the Damier motif as both a “platform and a new artistic discipline,” spinning the classic Louis Vuitton checkerboard pattern into high-viz canvas and digital camouflage — a fresh twist on a familiar theme, rigorously applied across the brand’s crossbody bags, outerwear and many, many tailored silhouettes.
For fashion agnostics, however, all that was being sent down the runway was arguably background noise next to the heart-raising rhythm of the night itself. For 99.9% of European Maisons, managing to wrangle Pusha T — hip-hop’s supreme villain and lyrical Machiavelli — into modelling for your spring show would likely be a marquee moment.
In Pharrell’s world, one filled with the joyous exultations of Gospel choirs and prolonged moments of gratitude, aimed squarely in Virgil Abloh’s direction — it’s just business as usual.
Watch the full Louis Vuitton Men’s SS24 show above.