Pharrell Williams is taking over the late Virgil Abloh, and will debut his first designs for Louis Vuitton at Paris Men’s Fashion Week
Pharrell Williams has some big shoes to fill.
On Tuesday, Louis Vuitton confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that it had tapped Williams—the multi-hyphenate musician, producer and entrepreneur known for hit songs like Happy and Blurred Lines—to replace the late Virgil Abloh as men’s creative director at the fashion house.
Williams will debut his first designs for Louis Vuitton at Paris Men’s Fashion Week this June, and the world will eagerly be watching to see what Abloh’s successor brings to the role. Abloh, the first Black creative director for Louis Vuitton, built a major following as he helped the brand connect to a younger consumer and incorporated elements of the streetwear aesthetic into its luxury offerings. He held his role at Louis Vuitton from 2018 until his death in November 2021.
Louis Vuitton’s chairman and CEO Pietro Beccari shared a statement welcoming Williams to the brand after two previous collaborations in the early 2000s, most recently working with then-Creative Director Marc Jacobs on a series of jewellery designs and sunglasses back in 2008.“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,” Beccari said. “His creative vision beyond fashion will undoubtedly lead Louis Vuitton towards a new and very exciting chapter.”
Williams has previously collaborated with other major fashion brands including Adidas, Tiffany & Co., Diesel, Moncler and Chanel, as well as launching his own skincare line Humanrace. He was awarded the Fashion Icon Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2015 and has since broken barriers by embracing gender-neutral clothing and womenswear, appearing in GQ‘s 2019 New Masculinity Issue.
While his innovation and individualism in fashion have long been celebrated, Williams looks to “the everyday American people” as his influences.
“No one has better style than the everyday American people,” he said while accepting his CFDA award in 2015. “Why? Because they’re the real thing and they live it every day. I could never be as cool as them but I’m happy to take notes.”