The Long-Awaited News Comes After Months of Speculation Over Virgil Abloh’s Successor
Musician, designer, and activist Pharrell Williams has been tapped by Louis Vuitton to take over the role of creative director of menswear.
“I am glad to welcome Pharrell back home, after our collaborations in 2004 and 2008 for Louis Vuitton, as our new Men’s Creative Director. His creative vision beyond fashion will undoubtedly lead Louis Vuitton towards a new and very exciting chapter.– Pietro Beccari, Louis Vuitton’s Chairman and CEO
The role of creative director of menswear has been empty since the passing of Virgil Abloh in November of 2021. Since then, the brand’s in-house design team has collectively handled the collections, with the brand’s most recent men’s show for Fall 2023 featuring contributions from guest designer Colm Dillane, founder and creative director of KidSuper.
Rumors and speculation have swirled about who would fill Abloh’s monumental shoes since the designer’s passing. Many expected a relative outsider from the world of luxury fashion in keeping with Abloh’s background and perspective. Williams is a surprise, however; his name was not frequently mentioned in discussions and rundowns of who might fill the role. Plenty of surprises and hot takes on the news are already storming social media. Nonetheless, Williams was a longtime friend and supporter of Abloh, so his legacy will be in good hands.
Over the course of his music career, Williams has been honored with 13 Grammy Awards, including 2004, 2014, and 2019 Producer of the Year, and ASCAP’s Golden Note Award in 2012. He has received two Academy Award, Golden GLobe, and Emmy nominations for his work in scoring music for film and television. In 2020, Williams was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame for his work as The Neptunes.
In 2019, Pharrell founded YELLOW, a non-profit working to even the odds for all youth through education, helping them realize their potential. In 2020, Williams launched Black Ambition, a non-profit initiative that provides a bridge to success for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs who are launching tech, healthcare, Web 3.0 and consumer products/services start-ups. A longtime advocate against racial injustice, Pharrell was an integral part in talks with Virginia Governor Northam about Juneteenth being a permanent paid state holiday.
In addition to his prolific work as a music producer, musician, and activist, Williams has made frequent forays into the world of fashion, most notably launching Billionaire Boys Club in partnership with Bape founder and Kenzo creative director Nigo. He’s also contributed design work via collaborations for Chanel, Adidas, G-Star Raw, and Uniqlo. In 2020 he launched his skincare brand, Humanrace, which has since made forays into other realms of design, particularly in collaboration with Adidas.
Williams’ first collection for Louis Vuitton will be revealed this June during the Men’s Fashion Week in Paris.