Pharrell Williams Debuts at Louis Vuitton: The New Star of Global Luxury

2023-06-20 20:58:19

Gold, love and the eternal. Pharrell Williams chose the historic heart of Paris – the Pont Neuf, a stone’s throw from Place Dauphine and the headquarters of Louis Vuitton – to organize his grand debut.

Under the gaze of the statue of Henri IV and above the Seine, the new men’s creative director of the iconic house of LVMH (owner of “Les Echos”) tried to live up to the shock aroused by his arrival at Vuitton on the last Valentine’s Day: the total icon of pop culture is applying for the title of new star of global luxury, a title vacant since the disappearances of Karl Lagerfeld and Virgil Abloh.

Close communication

“At Louis Vuitton, failure is not an option. So I work day and night to show that I am up to this mission, “explained the 49-year-old American artist to the” Figaro “, who concocted a complete show served by a millimeter communication, even associating Rihanna with the ‘affair. The singer was promoted to the face of Louis Vuitton men’s leather goods a few days ago.

Ahead of the parade, Pharrell Williams placed himself within black culture, citing Basquiat, Beyoncé and Prince among others. “I think brands are waking up, slowly but surely, I think they understand that we have taste and we have something really interesting to offer,” he said. “My appointment is a tribute” to Virgil Abloh, he abounds.

At nightfall, on a golden checkerboard stretched along the bridge, Pharrell Williams presented a wardrobe that was both sporty and chic, with loose jackets, knit tracksuits sometimes embroidered with pearls and more discreet “dandy” looks. Inspired by his native Virginia, he adds a signature “VA for lovers” for “Virginia for lovers”. He also declares his love under the code “LVERS” which should quickly leave the reference for insiders.

Far from the “quiet luxury”, Pharrell Williams, who signed the soundtrack of the show, went to resurrect from the archives, with a logo “L.Vuitton registered trademark”. There is also an assumed affiliation with the work of the American Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton (between 1997 and 2013), with whom the producer and singer of “Get Lucky” had his first experience in luxury. The two men also discussed at length during the inauguration of the flagship store Tiffany & Co in New York.

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The weight of man

The collection will arrive in stores in January 2024. For the house, the appointment of Virgil Abloh’s successor is a major challenge: men’s collections are a major growth driver, and menswear gives a global aura to the brand, which is already prancing around. leading the industry. This “bold” choice of the artistic director is “consistent with the idea of ​​the CEO of LVMH, Bernard Arnault, according to which Louis Vuitton sells culture and not only handbags”, estimates the bank HSBC in an analyst note .

“Our ambitions for men are strong,” emphasizes Pietro Beccari, CEO of Louis Vuitton, who has known Pharrell Williams for a long time. At “LV”, men’s leather goods and accessories are available in the house’s 460 stores, while ready-to-wear is present in 300 stores. In his interview with “Figaro”, the artist explains that his “work at Louis Vuitton is to make the brand as democratic as possible so that all those who can afford it appropriate the universe”.

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