pharrell williams is the new face of louis vuitton’s menswear


illustration by katelyn niester

Louis Vuitton is responsible for some of the most iconic moments in fashion history, and looks that we could never forget, many of those because of the late Virgil Abloh. He became creative director of Louis Vuitton Menswear in 2018 and later for the company as a whole in 2021. Abloh was also the chief executive officer of Off-White before his sudden passing due to cancer in November of that same year. His legacy has created such an influence on culture then, now, and for the foreseeable future. That campy streetwear flair and influence to Louis Vuitton will continue on to a new creative, Pharrell Williams. Could Louis Vuitton be playing it safe with the decision or continuing its magic?


Williams – an artist, musician, producer, designer and philanthropist – is already a household name across the world. Becoming creative director of Louis Vuitton Menswear is a new journey to add to his accolades, but will entail holding an entire lifestyle of a brand in the palm of his hands. 


Announcing Williams’ succession as the new men’s creative director on Instagram, the designer label said, 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.” Read the full announcement below.

Williams’s first collection will be revealed in June 2023 for Men’s Fashion Week in Paris. With newly crowned Williams as creative director, of course, it’s already causing a lot of buzz on social media, whether it’s for better or for worse. There’s no debating that Pharrell is a creative mind, but some question if he still holds enough relevance now, as his majority of work with fashion peaked in the early 2000s with a collaboration with LV on a sunglasses line, “Millionaire,” which was re-released by Virgil Abloh in 2018. 

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William’s style loosely resembles Abloh’s and many wonder if it’s an obvious choice to keep the beloved Abloh aesthetic going or maybe, because they don’t want to cause a disastrous debate online. The stir goes further and looks at what Williams represents for the future of fashion creative directors. While he may have taken part in successful collaborations and co-founded his brand Billionare Boys Club, Williams is still a celebrity. Many question why Louis Vuitton would overlook designers who have worked for years to perfect their craft, and instead choose Williams—a choice that further engages with fashion’s continuous closeness with celebrity culture.


As stated by Robin Givhan for The Washington Post, “It feels a bit like a company trying to recapture a certain excitement and sense of change that was fueled by possibility — maybe, just maybe, a door had swung open for other Black designers, and someone working away in a backroom or struggling to keep their own company afloat could win the big job. But Williams was not struggling. He wasn’t pounding away in the shadows. He was sitting in the spotlight wearing diamond bedazzled sunglasses and Chanel jackets.


Some users online are speaking out saying, “Overdue.. Great choice.  Interested to see what he puts out.” but others are saying it should’ve been someone else. 


The name of Martine Rose is on a lot of people’s minds. Rose is a British-Caribbean designer and draws her inspiration from hip-hop and rave culture. But why wasn’t she the ultimate decision? Twitter user, Shelby Ivey Christie, acknowledged below: 

The legacy and aura of vision that Virgil Abloh brought to Louis Vuitton and its overall image has created a sort of revival of designer streetwear. This classic, but innovative spin of Black American culture has really been key to Louis Vuitton’s brand image, so Williams being named the next creative director is the prime choice to continue implementing American hip-hop culture into its brand as the younger generation gets older, to sustain its value. 


Whether Williams is the perfect match or a safe solution, his new title of Louis Vuitton men’s creative director has gotten a lot of hype so far, and will continue to garner attention when the collection releases in Paris this year and might just exceed all expectations.

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Hi! I’m Catie Pusateri, A Magazine’s editor-in-chief. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.