- Words Liam Cattermole
Filling Virgil Abloh’s heavy boots, musician and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams will reveal his first Louis Vuitton collection in June 2023 during Paris Fashion Week.
It’s taken Louis Vuitton 14 months to find a successor to Virgil Abloh, who tragically died in November 2021. As the atelier’s first Black American designer, he revolutionised menswear, flipping connotations on their head and finding a space in high fashion for the streetwear community.
Yesterday, the French fashion house officially announced cultural icon Pharrell Williams as the heir to Virgil’s thrown. The appointment ends months of speculation, with British designers Grace Wales Bonner and Martine Rose heavily rumoured to take the position. Dividing opinion, the news surprised many, but Louis Vuitton are long-term admirers of the Billionaire Boys Club founder.
In 2004, Pharrell released a sunglasses range with Louis Vuitton called ‘Millionaire’, which has spiked in search interest since his appointment. Just four years later, he helped on their jewellery line with Nigo, under then-Creative Director Marc Jacobs.
Nigo, who’s head of menswear at Kenzo, and Pharrell now both work for brands under the LVMH conglomerate. It marks a time where luxury’s becoming increasingly interested in the intersection between music, culture and fashion.
In a statement posted to Instagram, Louis Vuitton said of the appointment that Pharrell is a “visionary whose creative universes expand from music to art, and to fashion. The way in which he breaks boundaries across the various worlds he explores aligns with Louis Vuitton’s status as a cultural maison, reinforcing its values of innovation, pioneer spirit and entrepreneurship”.