September 26, 2023

Louis Vuitton has employed Pharrell Williams to grow to be its new males’s inventive director, opening a brand new chapter for the model following the demise of star designer Virgil Abloh in November 2021, the model confirmed Tuesday in an Instagram put up.

The appointment is the primary huge transfer by new CEO Pietro Beccari, who joined the model from LVMH stablemate Dior this month, and confirms earlier experiences within the Wall Street Journal and Le Figaro.

The choice places an finish to months of hypothesis about who would take one in all vogue’s prime jobs. Designers Martine Rose, Grace Wales Bonner and Telfar Clemens have been stated to even be within the working for the function.

However the alternative of Williams, a world-famous music producer and streetwear guru with 14.3 million Instagram followers, means that Vuitton is banking on superstar star energy and mass attraction to propel its males’s enterprise within the post-Abloh period, a transfer that stands in distinction to the latest appointment of behind-the-scenes Valentino designer Sabato De Sarno at rival megabrand Gucci.

Final 12 months, Louis Vuitton surpassed €20 billion in annual income, and future development would require new CEO Beccari to increase its attraction nonetheless additional. Vuitton just lately unleashed the newest chapter of its blockbuster collaboration with artist Yayoi Kusama and tapped famous person footballers Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the identical marketing campaign.

“[Williams’] inventive imaginative and prescient past vogue will undoubtedly lead Louis Vuitton in direction of a brand new and really thrilling chapter,” Beccari stated in a press release.

The appointment can also be a doubling down on the streetwear-inflected sensibility dropped at the model by Abloh. With collections that married avenue tradition with excessive vogue, in addition to his pure fluency with social media, Abloh helped broaden the model’s attraction with a youthful, extra numerous buyer base, making a halo over the Vuitton mark that continued to pay dividends after his sudden demise in 2021.

Williams is finest recognized for his music profession, dropping on chart topping hits like “Glad” and “Get Fortunate.” Rising to prominence as a part of hip-hop group N.E.R.D, Williams went on to provide tracks for A-list stars starting from Gwen Stefani to Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears.

However he additionally has long-standing hyperlinks to the streetwear scene, co-founded pioneering streetwear model Billionaire Boys Membership with Japanese musician and BAPE-founder Nigo within the early naughts. The duo have additionally launched BBC sub-labels Ice Cream, Bee Line and Billionaire Ladies Membership.

Williams has collaborated additionally with a string of main vogue manufacturers, from Chanel and Moncler to Adidas, and even Louis Vuitton: in 2008, he teamed up with then-creative director Marc Jacobs on a jewelry line for the heritage home. In 2016, he turned co-owner of denim model G-Star Uncooked.

Williams first assortment for Louis Vuitton will debut subsequent June in Paris throughout Males’s Vogue Week, the model stated.