Luxury brand Louis Vuitton on Tuesday announced the appointment of hip-hop artist Pharrell Williams as its new head of menswear.
“Louis Vuitton is delighted to welcome Pharrell as its new Men’s Creative Director with immediate effect,” the French fashion house said in a statement.
Williams fills the spot left vacant since the death of Virgil Abloh from cancer in November 2021.
The 49-year-old is an established superstar in the music world, with 13 Grammys and two Oscar nominations, and he has been a fixture in the front row of fashion shows for many years.
“Pharrell Williams is a visionary whose creative universe spans from music to art to fashion — establishing himself as a universal cultural icon over the past 20 years,” said the fashion house, part of the LVMH group.
His first collection for Louis Vuitton will be presented next June during Men’s Fashion Week in Paris, it added.
“I’m delighted to see Pharrell come back to the house as the new creative director for men, after our collaborations in 2004 and 2008 for Louis Vuitton,” said the fashion house’s chief executive, Pietro Beccari.
“His creative vision beyond fashion will without a doubt lead Louis Vuitton towards a new, very exciting chapter,” he added.
Louis Vuitton’s sales have soared since the pandemic, with the company now worth more than $20 billion — helping to turn the owner of its parent company LVMH, Bernard Arnault, into the world’s richest person.
The French brand had been happy to keep coasting on the hype generated by Abloh’s three-year tenure, using his team and guest designers for recent shows.
Last month, it put on one of the most talked-about shows of menswear week in Paris with a performance by popstar Rosalia and overseen by a collective of strongly hyped young designers.
Williams, who came to fame in the 1990s as part of hip-hop group The Neptunes, was not often mentioned in speculation surrounding the job, but fits perfectly with the label’s recent moves to attract a younger streetwear-focused audience.
He has teamed with many fashion brands for individual lines, including Diesel, Chanel, Moncler and Adidas.
His partnership with Louis Vuitton in 2008 under then-creative director Marc Jacobs was for a jewellery and sunglasses line.