How Pharrell Williams turned Louis Vuitton’s Menswear into a best-seller.

Initially a luggage brand with travel at its core, Louis Vuitton has risen to the top of the menswear luxury market since the appointment of Pharrell Williams, a renowned producer and performer, to its helm. This accomplishment wasn’t built merely on his following that includes an exhaustive list of celebrities who fly in for his shows no matter the location. Louis Vuitton isn’t Pharrell’s first fashion gig. With collaborations with Chanel, Comme des Garcons, Nigo, BAPE, or OG Louis Vuitton eyewear, the musician-turned-designer has proven to be the man for the job, pushing his creative boundaries and our appetite for his take on luxury.

The unforgettable debut show that brought pop-culture royalty to Paris last June, codified the critical components of his new creative vision in several sartorial hits. From “damoflage” blazers (a new take on the brand’s creative trademark,) embroidered varsity jackets, and beanies with chess boards, to Speedy bags of every color, Pharrell’s first collection quickly hit the milestone of the most-sold Louis Vuitton Menswear line to date. The next star-studded Pre-Fall 2024 show in Hong Kong was another nod to travel and culture.

The most recent blockbuster Western-inspired Fall Winter 2024 show bridged the designer’s American roots with French savoir-faire. “You never really get to see what some of the original cowboys looked like. They looked like us, like me. They were black and Native American,” said Williams in an interview on the collection that masterfully highlighted the iconography of the American Western dress code through craftsmanship and embroidery techniques. “We are here to appreciate where we go and what we learned and come back and share those stories in the way that we do when I express myself through the clothes and the show,” he concluded.

To accomplish that goal, Pharrell brought traditional artisans from the Dakota and Lakota Nations to collaborate on accessories. Headed by Dee Jat Two Bears of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the artisans embellished Speedy, Messenger, and Travel Tote with Dakota Flower symbols and delivered a hand-painted series of Keepall bags. Williams also tapped the rapper/producer Tyler the Creator for a preppy collaboration. “Tyler has been my close friend and collaborator for years. We’ve always connected on music and design,’’ Pharrell explained about the capsule that merges his dandy style with Tyler the Creator’s sophisticated preppy spirit. “These collaborations are unique because they are a natural extension of our LVERS philosophy, building on our network of incredible artists and creatives,” added Williams.

Unaffected by his worldwide fanfare and the success he has brought to Louis Vuitton, Williams remains as grounded in reality as ever. “If you are going to spend your disposable income in times like this, it needs to be on something that is actually going to last,” remarked Pharrell proving common sense never goes out of style.

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