The long awaited debut of Pharrell Williamsâ€˜ debut as the new Louis Vuitton Menswear creative director is finally here and it did not disappoint. Bringing all the stops, Pharrell brought his global audience to the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris to present his first collection for the French luxury house. From beginning to end, guests were given an unforgettable experience that began the moment they received the invite for the Spring/Summer 2024 collection.
The invitation alluded to a theme that celebrated joy and love. Before entering the celebrity-packed outdoor venue, guests took a boat by MusÃ©e dâ€™Orsay to the bridge, which was clad in gold throughout. Taking the motif of the sun to his collection, Pharrell looks to it as a universal source of life. The creative director said, â€œIn moments like this, when youâ€™ve been chosen to do something, the sun is shining on you. The quintessential question that I ask myself all the time, and ask people I care about, is, â€˜Hey, if the sun is shining on you, what would you do with the light?â€™ When the sun shined on me for an opportunity like this, it changed my life across the board. If Iâ€™m going to get this appointment, Iâ€™m going to use it to do two things: one, to share all my learnings as a perpetual student; and two, to share my love and appreciation. Iâ€™m choosing to shine a light back on this city, these people, all my friends here, who have kept me lifted all this time.â€
Pharrell explains that the collection hinges on the idea of â€œLVERS,â€ meaning that â€œif you appreciate Louis Vuitton, youâ€™re a lover of the curation. You love the product but deeper than that, itâ€™s a love for the culture that embodies a like-mindedness of taste.â€ In the collection, Pharrell looks towards the iconic LV Damier chess board pattern. Incorporating the historic monogram with the Damier print, Pharrell fuses the old with the new, bringing a pixelated aesthetic to his first collection, â€œThe fact that it has the chessboard setup, we could use the grid as a platform to play with different artistic techniques. The first was to treat the blocks like 8-bit Atari graphics. I worked with ET Artist, whoâ€™s really good at it. The super powerful one is the Damoflage, which fuses Damier and camo. I wanted to make a print that makes people say, â€œOkay, thatâ€™s P. And thatâ€™s Damier.â€
The show saw a star-studded attendance from the likes of Jared Leto, Zendaya, Kim Kardashian, Naomi, Lewis Hamilton, Maluma, J Balvin, Jaden Smith, Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, BeyoncÃ© and even JAY-Z. Pharrellâ€™s reach is undoubtedly untoucheable, fusing multiple elements of his show together with his musicality and artistry. Other designers including Jeremy Scott, JW Anderson and long-time friend NIGO were all seen sitting front row supporting P. The show was a spectacle all the way to the end with Voice of Fire performing their joint track with Pharrell, â€œJoyâ€ for the finale. At the after-party, Hov and P performed some of their best hits in front of guests before capping off the night.
Pharrellâ€™s Louis Vuitton debut runway show was a celebration of all his successes, but most importantly, the designer made a note to pay tribute to â€œthe giant before me.â€ P continues to hold Virgil Ablohâ€˜s near to his heart when he creates for the house and insists that he will never be forgotten. Take a look at the full collection above.
In other fashion news, take a look at the street style at Milan Fashion Week SS24.