This is the first major decision for new CEO Pietro Beccari , who recently left Dior for Louis Vuitton. The move ended months of speculation over who would take over one of fashion's most famous roles, after rumors that Martine Rose, Grace Wales Bonner and Telfar Clemens were also considered candidates for the job.
The selection of Williams, an international music producer and street style celebrity with 14.3 million Instagram followers, indicates that Louis Vuitton is banking on the power and charisma of celebrities to drive its menswear collections in the post-Virgil Abloh era. . This decision contrasts with that of Sabato Di Sarno, the designer at rival giant Gucci, who worked behind the scenes at Valentino.
Last year Louis Vuitton surpassed 20 billion euros in annual sales, and future growth will require new CEO Picari to further broaden its appeal. Vuitton recently launched the latest chapter in its stellar collaboration with Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama and featured soccer stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the same campaign.
"Williams' creative vision, which transcends fashion, will undoubtedly lead Louis Vuitton into a very exciting new chapter," Beccari said in a statement.
This designation also promises to double down on the streetwear style that Abloh has brought to the brand. With collections blending urban culture and haute couture, as well as his natural mastery of social media, Abloh helped broaden the brand's appeal to a younger and more diverse clientele, creating a distinct Louis Vuitton aura that has continued to generate dividends since its sudden death in 2021.
Louis Vuitton wrote on Instagram in the post announcing the name of its new creative director for menswear: "Pharrell Williams is a creative visionary who crosses from music to art to fashion. He has established himself as a global cultural icon for the past 20 years, his style pushes the boundaries. The different universes he explores are part of Louis Vuitton's approach to the cultural field, which reinforces its position in the field of leadership and innovation."
The new artistic director has taken up his post immediately and will present his first collection during the men's fashion week to be held in Paris next June. Regarding the official announcement of this appointment, it was made by the French newspaper "Le Figaro" after the American newspaper "The Wall Street Journal" raised the possibility of appointing the artist and music producer Pharrell Williams to this prestigious post.
Since the departure of designer Virgil Abloh in November 2021, the men's section of the Louis Vuitton house no longer had an artistic director. A team of interior designers from the house then took charge of preparing the collections, and worked in collaboration with the American designer Kid Super to present the fall-winter 2023-2024 men's fashion collection.
But who is Pharrell Williams?
He is the famous performer of the song "Happy" and has won 13 Grammy Music Awards. Pharrell is 49 years old and an important figure in the fashion industry. He regularly attends fashion shows in Paris and has already been appointed Chanel brand ambassador. He also appears in documentaries chronicling the life of Karl Lagerfeld and Coco Chanel.
Pharrell is a star who loves the spotlight, but he is also interested in humanitarian and social projects. In 2020, he launched the Black Ambition Project, a non-profit initiative that aims to help entrepreneurs in Africa and Latin America launch emerging projects in the fields of technology, health and services to people. consumers. He has also collaborated with Adidas through its Humanrace brand, which promotes the values of respect for others.
Pharrell Williams began his career in music production, but soon worked on fashion projects with high-end brands Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream. He has also collaborated with Nigo, one of Japan's most famous fashion faces, who took over as creative director of luxury goods group LVMH Kenzo last year.
Regarding his new task at Louis Vuitton, it will be a big challenge for him, given the brand's position as one of the most important luxury brands in the world, whose sales have exceeded 20 billion dollars in 2022.