Louis Vuitton has chosen American musician Pharrell Williams to replace Virgil Abloh more than a year after his death. Williams, 49, a music producer and streetwear entrepreneur, is the new creative director of the brand’s menswear line. It is Pietro Beccari‘s first move as CEO of the 20 billion euros brand. The appointment takes effect immediately, and Williams will present his first LV collection during Paris Men’s Fashion Week in June.
A bold choice
While Abloh’s popularity exploded on a global scale during his three years at Vuitton, Pharrell Williams arrived at LV already as a celebrity. The two had a long-standing relationship and mutual esteem. The choice of Williams, winner of 13 Grammy Awards and streetwear guru with 14.3 million followers on Instagram, suggests the direction taken by Vuitton. Which is? Celebrity power and mass acceptance for its men’s business. The bold choice is in contrast to the traditional path Kering is following with the appointment of Sabato De Sarno at the helm of Gucci.
“An exciting chapter”
For the multi-talented Williams, according to WWD, Vuitton now becomes the main engagement. “I am delighted to welcome Pharrell as our new men’s creative director, having previously worked with LV in 2004 and 2008,” CEO Beccari said in a note. “His creative vision beyond fashion will undoubtedly take Louis Vuitton into a new and very exciting chapter”. Apart from his musical successes, Williams is not exactly unfamiliar with fashion. In the early 2000s, he collaborated with Japanese fashion icon Nigo to found the pioneering streetwear brand Billionaire Boys Club, and a skateboard-inspired shoe brand, Ice Cream. He then collaborated with Diesel, Chanel, Moncler, Tiffany. He has long collaborated with Adidas. A collaboration that, according to sources, is expected to continue.
In the picture, Pharrell Williams in a frame from Happy’s video