Pharrell Williams is taking on a huge new role in fashion.
Following a report from the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday morning, Louis Vuitton confirmed that Williams would be stepping in at the fashion house to be men’s creative director, starting with Men’s Fashion Week in Paris in June. This role was previously held by Virgil Abloh until his death in 2021.
“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 brand wrote on Instagram. “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.”
The celebratory Instagram continued with a statement from Louis Vuitton’s CEO and chairman Pietro Beccari.
“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,” he said.
Abloh was brought on at Louis Vuitton in 2018 as the artistic director of men’s ready to wear. He was the first Black designer for the brand and died at age 41 after a two-year battle with a rare form of cancer called cardiac angiosarcoma.
In his three years leading Louis Vuitton menswear, he found incredible success and accumulated a large celebrity following, and became a celebrity in his own right.
Williams, 49, is a natural fit for the role, already bringing millions of fans to the table and a history of entrepreneurship in apparel, according to the WSJ.
Jon Kopaloff/WireImage Pharrell Williams
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Starting in the early 2000s and through today, Williams has been an active participant in the fashion industry.
The producer-singer even collaborated with Louis Vuitton’s former creative director Marc Jacobs in the early 2000s on a series of jewelry and sunglasses. “Vuitton for me is a school,” Williams declared in a 2008 interview about working with the brand and Jacobs, according to WSJ. “I’ve just learned a lot being here.”
Williams has also worked with the likes of Diesel, Chanel, Moncler and others over the years.
In a 2019 interview with GQ, he talked about what fashion means to him, saying, “When you listen to yourself and you’re comfortable in who you are, you wear what you feel like fits and looks right on you. And that’s it.”
Williams has long been a style icon. “It embarrasses me a bit to be a figure in fashion,” he said in an interview with WSJ in 2014. “I think everyone is interested in what they put on, even if you dress conservatively.”
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He won the Fashion Icon Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2015. “No one has better style than the everyday American people,” he said during his acceptance speech, per WSJ. “Why? Because they’re the real thing and they live it every day. I could never be as cool as them but I’m happy to take notes.”