Louis Vuitton confirms Pharrell Williams as Men's Creative Director
Louis Vuitton has confirmed that superstar music producer, designer and tastemaker Pharrell Williams is to take on the role of Men's Creative Director at the flagship LVMH house.
Williams will take on the role previously held by the late Virgil Abloh. Abloh, founder of Off-White and a multi-faced creative force, tragically passed away from a rare form of cancer at the age of just 41 in November 2021.
Abloh, a trained architect, had been the first black American to head up a European luxury house when he was appointed in 2018 and went on to become one of the most recognisable and beloved designers on the planet.
Williams rose to prominence in the 1990s as part of music producing duo The Neptunes, creating music for international stars such as Britney Spears, Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake. He went on to have a stellar music career in his own right winning numerous Grammys among other awards.
He is renowned for his personal style, and is a regular fixture on best-dressed lists. Louis Vuitton would be far from his first foray into fashion.
In 2005, he partnered with Japanese fashion icon Nigo (now creative chief at LVMH-owned Kenzo) to launch the Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream fashion labels. He has also previously designed a collection of eyewear and jewellery for Louis Vuitton and has a long-standing contract with Adidas to design footwear.
In 2020 Williams launched his own skincare line, Humanrace, which is available at Selfridges in the UK.
His first collection for Louis Vuitton will be unveiled at Men's Fashion Week in Paris in June.
Louis Vuitton Chairman and CEO Pietro Beccari said of the appointment: “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.”
Antoine Arnault, son of LVMH chief Bernard Arnault and the CEO of Tiffany & Co, suggested that Williams would also be collaborating with the luxury jewellery brand. In an Instagram post, Arnault said: "I can't imagine anyone better to follow in Virgil Abloh's footsteps and can't wait to see you write the future history of Louis Vuitton. Oh... and yes, we have some Tiffany & Co jewellery on the way!"
Williams' appointment is in keeping with the luxury group's strategy of aligning itself with major names. The group has also forged close links with global music artist and entrepreneur Rihanna.
In 2019 it was announced LVMH would partner with the global icon to create a luxury fashion line as part of the Fenty empire (which has successful beauty and lingerie enterprises) but the project was put on ice due to the challenges of the pandemic.
Main image: Alamy.