Teasing videos circulated on Instagram, prominent billboards adorned emblematic Parisian addresses, a campaign featuring Rihanna, and a significant announcement dating back to February 2023—Louis Vuitton saw it coming. Fashion enthusiasts eagerly awaited the highly anticipated debut of Pharrell Williams as the creative director of Louis Vuitton's menswear collection. His arrival brought the city of lights to a standstill on the first day of menswear fashion week.
The show unfolded at the iconic Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris, which had been transformed with a yellow-and-white Damier Checkerboard carpet covering the floor. The location was enhanced by a view of Parisian buildings, the Seine River, and in the distance, an illuminated Eiffel Tower. The premise of the show was captured by the phrase "If you want it, you can have it," alluding to Pharrell's new role, and it was brought to life by The Virginia choir Voice of Fire, hailing directly from his hometown.
The collection, centered on the word “Lovers” and the sun as a focal point for opportunity, showcased opulent hip-hop aesthetics. The silhouettes predominantly featured oversized fits, drawing inspiration from Pharrell's style and incorporating Louis Vuitton's signature codes. The brand’s Damier pattern was declined in blue suits and pants, Coats in black and white, and denim ensembles and bags.
A range of impeccably tailored suits and ties take center stage, some of them featuring shorts, a common piece of Pharrell’s wardrobe. Leather bomber jackets, knit jackets, and kilts and waders complete the look. The garments, some of them in structured cuts, are given an edgy twist by a series of innovative patterns.
The Parisian skyline was featured throughout plump track jackets, raincoats, and cropped blazers while some other pieces were adorned with embroidery inspired by the paintings of African American artist Henry Taylor. Another pixelated print was recurrent in the collection, portraying different motifs like camouflage. Hints to the sun appear throughout the collection with a warm color palette and gilded accessories.
The event was a star-studded extravaganza, with an impressive lineup of VIPs and Hollywood A-listers occupying the front row. Notable attendees included Beyoncé, Jay Z, A$AP Rocky, Rihanna, Zendaya, Naomi Campbell, Megan Thee Stallion, Kim Kardashian, Jaden and Willow Smith, Jackson Wang, Lewis Hamilton, Anitta, J Balvin, Maluma, and many more.
The singer will be succeeding Virgil Abloh, almost two years after his passing, to whom he dedicated the show: “This moment is dedicated to the giant before me. To our brother in spirit.” Pharrel Williams’ connections to fashion are not new and his resume features collaborations with brands like Chanel and Comme des Garçons, however taking on the role of creative director of one of the biggest luxury brands, might be his biggest challenge to date.