Following Virgil Abloh, Pharrell Williams is the second Black American designer to land a position at the French luxury fashion house.

Credit: The Australian

Pharrell Williams is  fashion and entertainment industries have become even more interlinked. On Tuesday, Louis Vuitton appointed the American rapper and producer, Pharrell Williams, as its new creative director for men’s wear.

The French luxury label made the choice 16 months after the unexpected death of its former men’s wear designer, Virgil Abloh, in 2021. Abloh’s combination of hip-hop and hype culture attracted a more diverse and younger client base. His legacy is that of a fashion renegade; expanding Louis Vuitton’s reach and transforming luxury.

LV Making History Again

Virgil Abloh | Credit: CNN

It’s the second time that a Black American designer has led the French luxury business; since Abloh made history with his appointment as the first in March 2018.

Williams’ hiring, as a longstanding admirer and friend of Abloh, puts an end to months of speculation over who would take on the desirable post. His appointment is the first big move by Louis Vuitton’s new CEO, Pietro Beccari, who joined Louis Vuitton from Dior last month. Emerging designers such as Jamaican-British Martine Rose and Grace Wales Bonner had also been under consideration.

The selection reflects the ongoing convergence of the luxury and streetwear industries; hinting at LVMH’s future direction.

In a statement from Louis Vuitton to announce the appointment of Williams, the rapper is described as a

“visionary whose creative universes expand from music to art, and to fashion. The way in which he breaks boundaries across the various worlds he explores aligns with Louis Vuitton’s status as a cultural maison, reinforcing its values of innovation, pioneer spirit and entrepreneurship”.

His debut collection will be unveiled in June 2024 during Paris Men’s Fashion Week.

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