Louis Vuitton names Pharrell Williams head of menswear

The appointment of hip-hop artist Pharrell Williams as the new head of menswear at Louis Vuitton was announced on Tuesday.

"Louis Vuitton is delighted to welcome Pharrell as its new Men's Creative Director, effective immediately," the storied fashion house said in a statement.

Williams fills the vacancy left by Virgil Abloh's cancer death in November 2021.

With 13 Grammys and two Oscar nominations, the 49-year-old is an established music superstar, and she has been a fixture in the front row of fashion shows for years.

"Pharrell Williams is a visionary whose creative universe spans from music to art to fashion — establishing himself as a universal cultural icon over the past 20 years," the fashion house, which is part of the LVMH luxury conglomerate, stated.

It was also revealed that his first collection for Louis Vuitton will be unveiled in June during Men's Fashion Week in Paris.

"I'm delighted to see Pharrell return to the house as the new creative director for men, following our collaborations for Louis Vuitton in 2004 and 2008," said the fashion house's chief executive, Pietro Beccari.

"Without a doubt, his creative vision beyond fashion will lead Louis Vuitton into a new, very exciting chapter," he said.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, Louis Vuitton's sales have skyrocketed, with the company now worth more than $20 billion, helping to make its parent company LVMH's owner, Bernard Arnault, the world's richest person.

- Millennial appeal - The French label had been content to ride the wave created by Abloh's three-year tenure, employing his team and guest designers for recent shows.
Abloh, who died at the age of 41, rose to prominence among millennials by deftly fusing luxury and streetwear.

Louis Vuitton put on one of the most talked-about shows of Paris menswear week last month, featuring a performance by pop star Rosalia and overseen by a collective of highly regarded young designers.

Williams, who rose to prominence in the 1990s as a member of the hip-hop group The Neptunes, was rarely mentioned in the job rumors.

However, he fits in with the label's recent efforts to attract a younger, streetwear-focused audience, and he shares skateboarding, art, and music interests with Abloh.

"Virgil you were a kind, generous, thoughtful creative genius your work as a human and your work as a spiritual being will live forever," he wrote after Abloh's death.

He has previously collaborated on individual lines with other fashion brands such as Diesel, Chanel, Moncler, and Adidas.

In 2008, he collaborated with Louis Vuitton under then-creative director Marc Jacobs on a jewelry and sunglasses line.

Williams was named co-owner of the jeans brand G-Star Raw in 2016, as well as co-founder of the Japanese clothing company Billionaire Boys Club.

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