Pharrell Williams has been named the new Men’s Creative Director of Louis Vuitton, succeeding the late Virgil Abloh.
Louis Vuitton announced the news in a statement on Tuesday, Feb. 14 on LVMH’s website and Instagram, shared alongside a black and white photo of the multi-hyphenate posing with a branded blanket over his head. In the caption, his new position was named, as well as his first collection date, which will debut during Men’s Fashion Week in Paris next June.
“Pharrell Williams is a visionary whose creative universes expand from music to art, and to fashion — establishing himself as a cultural global icon over the past twenty years,” the statement read. “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.”
Pietro Beccari, Louis Vuitton’s Chairman and CEO, said in the statement, “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.”
The 49-year-old producer collaborated with the luxury fashion house several times throughout his career, Complex reported.
In 2004, he worked with then creative director Marc Jacobs on a line of sunglasses with NIGO. This line included the famous Millionaire sunglasses which were brought back on several occasions, including a re-release in 2007 and a re-issue by Abloh in 2018. In 2008, he also collaborated with Camille Miceli on Blason, a jewelry collection for the brand.
Williams reflected on the news on his own Instagram on Feb. 16, posting several photos throughout the years sporting Louis Vuitton clothing and accessories. In the caption, he simply wrote, “Where it all started @louisvuitton.”
Alexandre Arnault, the son of LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, celebrated his friend’s news on Instagram, posting two photos of the duo.
“Over the past 15 years of our friendship @pharrell I’ve always admired your fearless creativity and desire to push boundaries across all industries -music, fashion, design, and many others,” Arnault wrote. “I can’t imagine anyone better to follow @virgilabloh’s footsteps and can’t wait to see you write the future history of @louisvuitton.”
Abloh, who founded his own high-end streetwear brand Off-White in 2013, was hired by Louis Vuitton in 2018 to be the artistic director of menswear at the luxury fashion house. He held the position until his death in November 2021 at age 41 from cardiac angiosarcoma.
At the time of Abloh's death, Williams was one of the many celebrities who mourned the loss of the designer, penning a heartfelt message on social media.
“My heart is broken,” he wrote on Twitter. “Virgil you were a kind, generous, thoughtful creative genius. your work as a human and your work as a spiritual being will live forever. Sending love and light to your wife, children, family and day ones. you’re with the Master now, shine.”