The flagship brand of LVMH, Louis Vuitton, said on Tuesday that it has appointed Pharrell Williams to oversee the artistic direction of its menswear designs. This high-profile post has been empty since star designer Virgil Abloh passed away over a year ago.
“Louis Vuitton is delighted to welcome @Pharrell as its new Men’s Creative Director”, Louis Vuitton said in a tweet, confirming earlier reports from the Wall Street Journal and the French daily Le Figaro.
The firm noted that Williams’ debut line for the company would be displayed in June in Paris during Men’s Fashion Week.
Williams became well-known in the music industry as a singer and producer with singles including “Happy” and “Blurred Lines.” He was a judge on the well-known singing competition program “The Voice,” and he has earned 13 Grammy awards.
Williams received one of his two Oscar nods for “Happy,” a song he wrote for the animated film “Despicable Me 2.” He received his second Academy Award nomination for “Hidden Figures,” which was up for best film.
Williams has a wealth of expertise in the fashion sector as well. He contributed to the growth of streetwear by announcing collaborations with premium companies Moncler and Chanel as well as Adidas and co-founding the label Billionaire Boys Club with Japanese designer Nigo in 2003. He created eyeglasses for Louis Vuitton in 2004 in partnership with designer Marc Jacobs.
Williams made headlines last year when he showed up for Nigo’s first fashion show in Paris for the LVMH-owned brand Kenzo wearing Tiffany diamond-studded spectacles, another creative collaboration with an LVMH company.
Pietro Beccari, the newly appointed CEO of Louis Vuitton, makes his first move with this hiring.
“Williams is a significant hire, needed to fill the big boots left by Virgil Abloh,” said analysts at Credit Suisse, noting that the “major move” by the new CEO suggests the brand’s links with pop culture and music will continue.
Abloh, who passed away in November 2021, was the most well-known Black designer in fashion and represented how streetwear and high-end fashion could coexist by incorporating elements from skateboarding and graffiti art into his designs.
Since then, the label’s design studios have taken inspiration from Abloh’s creations and have energized catwalk displays with musicians like the Florida band Marching 100, the rapper Kendrick Lamar, and Spanish vocalist Rosalia.