Rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer and now menswear creative director.
Analysts and forecasters reacted to Pharrell Williams’ recent appointment as creative director of menswear at Louis Vuitton without surprise. If anyone could fill the shoes of the multi-hyphenate late designer Virgil Abloh, it would be Williams.
“Pharrell is one of the most well-known multi-hyphenates,” says Sarah Unger, president and founder of Cultique, a cultural insights and strategy consultancy. “He crystallized our understanding of the industry-agnostic cultural appeal a musician can have. LV is a very multi-hyphenate brand—beyond a typical fashion house. Pharrell will have lots of arenas to play in.”
Williams is a logical move, following Abloh, and is no stranger to fashion. He created streetwear brands Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream footwear, and partnered with brands like Adidas and Moncler.
“There is no doubt that Pharrell will likely make his unique impact based on his outsized style sensibilities,” says Hemant Kalbag, managing director, Alvarez & Marsal Consumer Retail Group. “But I don’t anticipate a fundamental directional change. That said, Pharrell will help keep LV relevant to the next generation of LV customers.”
Williams will showcase his first collection for the French luxury house in June during Men’s Fashion Week in Paris. The show will mark five years after Abloh’s celebrated debut collection for the brand, where the audience included: Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, ASAP Rocky, Takashi Murakami, Travis Scott and more. More than 2,000 guests attended the event, held at the Palais Royal,