Grammy-award-winning musician, Pharrell Williams made his runway debut as Louis Vuitton’s new creative director of menswear on Tuesday June 20, when the luxury fashion house unveiled its spring/summer 2024 collection during Paris Fashion Week.
The star-studded event took place at Paris’ Pont Neuf and featured a choir and an orchestra, as the models showed off the colorful new designs on the gold-toned runway. Themed “lovers”, Williams’ debut collection showcased printed leather jerseys and rugbys, quilted denim, Mao-neck blazer.
To celebrate his first collection under his prestigious new position, the entertainment industry’s biggest stars gathered to watch the runway show. Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, Kim Kardashian and Jared Leto were all spotted front row, while Megan Thee Stallion, Jaden and Willow Smith, Kelly Rowland, Coi Leray, Lenny Kravitz, Maluma and Tyler, the Creator were also among those in attendance.
The iconic Pont Neuf, covered in gold checkerboard, set the stage for the runway show, symbolising the connection between two significant places in Pharrell Williams’ life: Paris and Virginia. As a nod to his hometown, the collection echoes memories of Princess Anne High School and the formative years that led him to become the Men’s Creative Director at Louis Vuitton. Combining American varsity aesthetics with Parisian craftsmanship, the collection explores a fusion of sportswear and tailored pieces, resulting in a dynamic and distinct style. The Louis Vuitton initials transformed into the emblem of LVERS, representing a global community unified by shared values of warmth, well-being, and appreciation. The LVERS emblem, inspired by Pharrell’s home state slogan, ‘Virginia is for lovers,’ became an embodiment of discernment, savoir-faire, and the curation of iconic elements.
Accessories were a focal point of the show, the collection introduced the new Louis Vuitton Speedy bag, inspired by the bustling energy of New York City’s Canal Street. Monogram Copper, symbolising healing properties, took centre stage in the iconic Louis Vuitton trunk, as well as in canvas bags, leather backpacks, and trainer trunks. Magnified forms of iconic LV bags, such as the Alma and Epi XL, featured exquisite embroideries and veined leather, creating a true spectacle of craftsmanship.
True to Louis Vuitton’s heritage, the collection celebrates the fusion of Louis Vuitton’s heritage Damier pattern and camouflage, aptly named Damoflage. This unique blend paid homage to Pharrell’s Parisian friends and showcased the convergence of diverse styles. The pattern appeared across a range of accessories, workwear, denim, and knitwear, symbolising the harmony between nature-inspired camouflage and the iconic Louis Vuitton aesthetic. Abloh debuted pixelated-looking Damier prints in 2018, but Williams took the baton and explored the idea further. The graphic was reimagined in various adaptations, including 8-bit Atari Damier motifs, coloured expressions in tailoring and denim, and stitch-like 3D pigment prints.