After more than a year, Louis Vuitton has a new creative director with Pharrell Williams. With Pharrell, there will not be a classically trained designer at the office, but someone who is best known as a pop star, musician and for songs such as Happy and Get Lucky. Still, the choice for Pharrell is not very remarkable. His appointment is "leading the way for where fashion is going. His first collection for Louis Vuitton would be released upcoming June during Men's Fashion Week in Paris.
"The emphasis is now much more on the tone of voice, so what a brand creates in terms of atmosphere, choice of models and music, for example, instead of how a piece of clothing is put together or what material it is made of."
It will be no easy task for Pharrell Williams to follow Virgil Abloh in his footsteps as creative director. Virgil's work at Louis Vuitton was much loved by fans and fellow co-colleagues in the fashion world. Thus, Virgil Abloh has achieved very much in his career at the fashion brand LV. Unfortunately, after his death from a rare form of cancer, he could not continue his work. This is what Louis Vuitton and CEO Pietro Beccari hope to do with their new Creative Director Pharrell Williams.
Williams' predecessor Abloh was the fashion brand's first black creative director in 2018. He has started conversations about inclusivity and lack of diversity in the fashion world, says Aynouk Tan. "I remember when Kanye and Virgil cried in arms in 2018 when Virgil put on a show with predominantly black models and models of color. They are still underrepresented in the fashion industry, including in leadership positions."
The brand has become more inclusive under Abloh's leadership and they probably want to continue that with the choice for Williams. The conversations Virgil has initiated have a social impact beyond the fashion world as well. It's good that those issues are being put on the map and let's hope that's a line that Pharrell can continue.
Although best known for music, 49-year-old Williams is no stranger to the fashion world: he runs the streetwear label Billionaire Boys Club with designer Nigo and has already designed sunglasses for Vuitton.
Louis Vuitton describes Pharrell Williams as a visionary whose creative universes span from music to art to fashion, making him a cultural, global icon over the past 20 years. At his first show, Pharrell handed out an ABC booklet in which the first sentence was written: "I am not a designer". With the appointment of Williams, Vuitton, therefore, seems to be continuing in that line. about brands, branding and appearance than really purely about the designer. It almost becomes a kind of merchandise of a world you want to belong to.
Slightly more mainstream
it difficult to speculate about expectations from Pharrell Williams and comparisons with Abloh. Because we haven't seen anything yet. Virgil has been a bit under the radar at the beginning of his career and has grown into a huge hero and also grew a huge fanbase. The upcoming time will be very exciting! not only for us as fashion lovers but also for the fashion world itself!
As known from many Vogue articles and other public appearances, We can say that Pharrell has a really good fashion sense. He is good at capturing the spirit of the times: what is possible and what is not. The difference between Abloh and Williams is mainly that the latter is a bit more mainstream. Virgil took risks, he could make ugly things cool, like Crocs. Williams is a bit less courageous in that but appeals to a wider audience.
To recap, we can't say much yet about what to expect from Pharrell Williams as creative director at Louis Vuitton, but what we do know is that Williams is no stranger to fashion. He is co-owner of streetwear brand Human Made with Kenzo creative director Nigo; founder of streetwear brands Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream; co-owner of G-Star Raw Denim; and a regular collaborator with Tiffany. So don't stress, his first collection which will drop in June during Men's Fashion Week in Paris will definitely be a banger! Put it in your agendas cause you don't wanna miss it!