Louis Vuitton: Pharrell Williams puts on a dazzling entrance show!

Pharrell Williams’ first show as artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear took place on the evening of the first day of Paris Fashion Week shows, June 20. And he didn’t disappoint!


Pharrell Williams’ first fashion show for Louis Vuitton, LVMH’s flagship fashion house, where he took over the men’s reins on February 14, more than lived up to expectations.


His men’s collection for spring-summer 2024 took place on the evening of June 20, in an iconic Parisian venue that’s unusual for a fashion show: the Pont-neuf, a stone’s throw from Louis Vuitton headquarters.



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1750 guests


In front of 1,750 guests, including many celebrities, 71 looks were presented by models with diverse and inclusive physiques on a huge gold checkerboard, “a nod to the sun, the central point of the collection”, said Louis Vuitton.


Although gold was used sparingly in the collection itself, the sun is indeed a star well suited to the radiant figure of Louis Vuitton’s new artistic director, at the center of the fashion planet and of this Paris Fashion Week.


The American musician, who is ultra-popular the world over, himself told Le Figaro that he wanted to make “the Louis Vuiton brand as democratic as possible, so that everyone who can afford it can make it their own”.


The author of “Happy” and Louis Vuiton cleverly used the medium of music to increase the show’s audience. This was achieved by playing on a broad spectrum of registers: a classical piece composed by…Pharrell Williams, performed by star pianist Lang Lang and a fifty-piece orchestra, followed by an 80-strong gospel choir for the fashion show. This was followed by a half-hour concert by Jay-Z, joined by Pharrell Williams singing his first single from 2003, Frontin.



Black talent in the spotlight


Along with the gold of the carpet, black was the other color in the spotlight at this fashion show: the skin color of Pharell Williams, successor to Virgil Abloh, who passed away too soon, and who was the first man of color to head the luxury House.



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Before the show, Louis Vuitton’s new designer stressed that his appointment was indeed a tribute to his predecessor, and at the same time an appreciation of the talents of men and women of color, such as Basquiat, Beyoncé or Prince. “I think brands are waking up, slowly but surely, I think they understand that we have taste and that we have something really interesting to offer”, he stressed.


The impressive line-up of celebrities present at the show, among the most powerful in the world, was also an illustration of the pre-eminent place taken by black culture in the collective imagination.


In addition to Jay-Z and his partner Beyoncé, the show was attended by Rihanna and her partner, rapper Asap Rocky, both wearing Pharrell Williams’ new Minecraft-inspired collection, Louis Vuitton muse Zendaya, model Naomi Campbell, racing driver Lewis Hamilton, rappers Tyler the Creator and Megan Thee Stallion, and French actor Omar Sy. Other sports stars include basketball player LeBron James and footballer Paul Pogba. In the political Super Stars category, Barack and Michelle Obama, who were also invited, were unable to join the party.



The black power crowd also included a number of international stars with paler faces, such as Kim Kardashian, Leonardo DiCaprio and musician-actor Jared Leto.



The question was whether this staging and array of dazzling personalities were intended to distract attention from the collection itself, the first designed for Louis Vuitton by Pharrell Williams, with the support of the House’s creative studio. And with whom the artist came to greet the public at the end of the show.


A successful premiere


In the opinion of observers, the silhouettes presented perfectly honored the House, while renewing its grammar, with strong references to its iconic checkerboard and logo. A move away from the new trend for quiet luxury, aimed more at the ultra-rich.



On the menu: silhouettes inspired by the world of sports (crocodile-skin baseball jackets, knitted tracksuits…), some glamorized with pearl embroidery, but also elegant or dandy, even bling bling (tailored suits or jackets (notably the suit model with rounded edges dear to Pharrell Williams, worn with shorts or skirts, chick-yellow fur coats)…



All noticed the omnipresence of the brand’s iconic checkerboard, sometimes pixel-like, evoking a camouflage pattern, but also the reinjection of the “Marque L.Vuitton déposée” logo and the arrival of a new signature “VA for lovers”, Virginia being Pharrell Williams’ native region.



Berets, future bestsellers?


In footwear, men’s moccasins and baby straps alternated with sneakers, while among bags, Speedy’s best-sellers stood out, offered in highly sophisticated, brightly colored lambskin leather versions.



And among the more accessible accessories, berets emblazoned with the words “Lovers”, created with Louis Vuitton’s stylized L and V letters, could well become best sellers…


Could this contribute to Pharrell Williams’ stated goal of democratizing Louis Vuitton?




Featured photo : © Getty Images

Grâce à une veille accrue et à une excellente connaissance de ces secteurs, la rédaction de Luxus Magazin décrypte pour ses lecteurs les principaux enjeux économiques et technologiques de la mode, l’horlogerie, la joaillerie, la gastronomie, les parfums et cosmétiques, l’hôtellerie, et l’immobilier de prestige.


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