Luxury fashion brand, Louis Vuitton has named American musician and entrepreneur, Pharrell Williams as the new creative director of its men’s division.
The appointment is effective immediately! Pharell Williams will reveal his first collection for the brand in June during Mens Fashion Week in Paris.
This announcement marks the first major decision by Pietro Beccari since he took over as chairman and chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton on Feb. 1,
13-time Grammy award winning musician, Pharrell Williams is describe as “a visionary whose creative universes expand from music to art, and to fashion; establishing himself as a cultural global icon over the past twenty years. 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.”
Williams is a powerful creative force who has founded several clothing brands; including Billionaire Boys Club and Icecream, the streetwear labels he launched with Japanese designer Nigo. Nigo is now the creative director at Kenzo. Like Vuitton, Kenzo is owned by luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
In 2004, Pharrell co-designed a line of eyewear for Vuitton. This was followed by a jewelry collection for the house in 2008. Back then, Beccari was a senior executive at the brand.
From Louis Vuitton’s CEO, Pietro Beccari
“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.”– Pietro Beccari, Louis Vuitton’s Chairman and CEO
The appointment fills one of fashion’s most high-profile vacancies, open since Virgil Abloh passed away in November 2021. The position had been left unfilled since the untimely death of his predecessor, Virgil Abloh, in November 2021.
Despite the absence of a creative director, Louis Vuitton continued to stage high-profile men’s shows. Some of which featured live performances by Tyler, the Creator, Kendrick Lamar and Rosalía. Thus, underlining its strategy of creating 360-degree entertainment experiences for a global online audience of millions.
In January, the house tapped KidSuper founder Colm Dillane as guest designer for fall 2023; leading to speculation that he might be offered the position full time. But that possibility was thwarted by the departure of Michael Burke after 10 years at the management helm of the world’s largest luxury brand, and the arrival of Beccari from Dior.
Is Williams up to the task?
This is the question on the minds of some individuals. Industry observers had speculated that Vuitton could tap an emerging designer, with names including; Martine Rose, Grace Wales Bonner and Samuel Ross rumored to be under consideration, or someone from outside the world of fashion entirely. With Pharell taking this highly coveted position, there are some speculations that he may not be the best man for the job, while others think he is. Especially considering the fact that he has a rather impressive and robust resume and track record in designing and artistic direction.
Williams also comes with solid environmental credentials, having served as creative director of Bionic Yarn; a company that makes textiles, polymers and other materials from plastic and other recyclable waste recovered from the ocean.
With his multihyphenate résumé, Williams has a similar profile to Abloh, who juggled his duties at Vuitton with his own label, Off-White. As well as side gigs that include DJing as well as art, furniture, jewelry and industrial design.
Williams, whose activities extend to film and television, music festivals and nonprofits, is expected to spend at least a third of his time at Vuitton on the understanding that it will be his most high-profile undertaking, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.
Original report by WWD.