After months of speculation and anticipation – including the release of several collections – Louis Vuitton has finally announced who will take on the mantle of Creative Director for their menswear line: Pharrell Williams.
In a post shared on the official Louis Vuitton Instagram account earlier today, the French Maison stated they were “delighted to welcome Pharrell Williams as its new Men’s Creative Director. His first collection for Louis Vuitton will be revealed next June during Men’s Fashion Week in Paris.”
They described the 49-year-old rapper and singer and fashion designer in his own right a “visionary whose creative universes expand from music to art, and to fashion…”
This isn’t the first time that Williams will be working with Louis Vuitton – he originally collaborated with the brand way back in 2004 when Marc Jacobs was working as Creative Director for Louis Vuitton, and again in 2008 on a limited jewellery line.
Since coming into the music scene as part of production duo The Neptunes in the ’90s and later finding mainstream success with N.E.R.D in the ’00s, Williams has established himself as both an artistic dynamo and one of fashion’s tastemakers.
Aside from multiple collaborations and brand partnerships, from adidas to Chanel, Williams has founded and designed several of his own labels including the cult streetwear brand Billionaire Boys Club.
Despite these credentials and clout, how Williams will continue – or depart from – the legacy of Virgil Abloh will be interesting to watch unfold.
The late designer and artistic director of Louis Vuitton, whose death had the fashion world reeling, oversaw the reshaping of Louis Vuitton menswear into one of the most hyped brands. Williams, like Abloh, shares a similar conceptual aesthetic that refuses to create any demarcation between “streetwear” and “formal” attire, rather adopting a blurred approach to both.
The announcement of Williams as creative director also marks the first major moves by new CEO and Louis Vuitton chairman Pietro Beccari.
In an official statement regarding the role and Williams, Beccari said “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.”