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From Virgil Abloh to Pharrell Williams: Louis Vuitton Continues to Lean Into Black Culture

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Louis Vuitton is a fashion house with a rich history dating back to the 19th century. Founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton, the brand began as a luggage manufacturer, creating trunks and travel bags for the wealthy elite. Over the years, the brand has evolved to become a leader in luxury fashion, offering a range of products including leather goods, ready-to-wear clothing, and accessories.

Louis Vuitton’s men’s wear collection has been a staple in the fashion industry for decades. The brand’s signature monogram pattern has become instantly recognizable, and the LV logo is synonymous with luxury and style. The men’s wear collection has always been characterized by its attention to detail, quality craftsmanship, and use of premium materials.

In recent years, Louis Vuitton has undergone a transformation, with a renewed focus on streetwear and urban fashion. The brand has collaborated with a number of high-profile designers and artists, including the late Virgil Abloh and Takashi Murakami, to create collections that are fresh, modern, and relevant. The Louis Vuitton men’s wear collection now includes a range of products, from classic leather jackets and coats to streetwear-inspired hoodies and sneakers. The brand has also expanded into accessories, offering everything from belts and wallets to sunglasses and jewellery.

Despite its evolution, Louis Vuitton has remained true to its roots, continuing to produce the high-quality, timeless pieces that have made it a household name. The brand’s men’s wear collection is a testament to its commitment to craftsmanship, innovation, and style.

Louis Vuitton x Late Virgil Abloh 

From Virgil Abloh to Pharrell Williams: Louis Vuitton Continues to Lean Into Black Culture
Virgil Abloh

Louis Vuitton and the late Virgil Abloh shared a passion for fashion and design. They both have a deep appreciation for the history and heritage of the Louis Vuitton brand, and a desire to create something new and exciting that speaks to a younger generation of fashion enthusiasts.

Abloh’s background in architecture and engineering, combined with his love of streetwear and hip-hop culture, brought a fresh perspective to the Louis Vuitton brand. His designs were often bold and daring, incorporating unexpected materials and textures, and playing with proportions and silhouettes.

Louis Vuitton’s commitment to quality craftsmanship and attention to detail is reflected in Abloh’s designs, which were characterized by their precision and meticulous construction. Together, they created a men’s wear collection that is both timeless and modern, blending classic Louis Vuitton elements with Abloh’s unique aesthetic.

In addition to their shared passion for fashion, Louis Vuitton and the late Virgil Abloh both committed to promoting diversity and inclusivity in the fashion industry. They have used their platform to champion emerging designers and artists and to create opportunities for underrepresented communities in fashion.

I think that the future of fashion is definitely going to be more about culture and less about the clothes themselves.

Virgil Abloh
Virgil Abloh

Louis Vuitton and Virgil Abloh’s shared vision for the future of fashion has resulted in a unique and exciting collaboration that has pushed the boundaries of what is possible in men’s wear design.

Louis Vuitton x Pharrell Williams 

Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams is a multi-talented artist, producer, and entrepreneur who has made a significant impact on the music and fashion industries. Born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in 1973, Williams began his career in music as a teenager, producing tracks for local hip-hop artists.

In the early 1990s, Williams formed the production duo “The Neptunes” with his childhood friend Chad Hugo. Together, they went on to produce chart-topping hits for some of the biggest names in music, including Jay-Z, Britney Spears, and Justin Timberlake.

In addition to his work as a producer, Williams has also achieved great success as a solo artist. His hits include “Happy,” “Frontin’,” and “Get Lucky,” among others. Williams’ unique sound and infectious energy have made him a fan favourite around the world.

But Williams’ talents extend far beyond music. He is also a successful fashion designer, with a number of high-profile collaborations under his belt. In 2005, he launched the streetwear brand Billionaire Boys Club, which quickly gained a cult following. He has also collaborated with brands like Adidas, G-Star Raw, and Chanel, bringing his unique sense of style to each project.

From Virgil Abloh to Pharrell Williams: Louis Vuitton Continues to Lean Into Black Culture
Pharrell Williams

In addition to his work in music and fashion, Williams is also a philanthropist and social activist. He has been involved in a number of charitable organizations, including From One Hand to AnOTHER, which provides educational opportunities to underprivileged children.

Louis Vuitton announced on February 14, 2023, that Pharrell Williams had been appointed as the new men’s creative director for the fashion house. This position had been left vacant since the death of Virgil Abloh in 2021. Williams’ first collection was showcased during Paris Men’s Fashion Week in June 2023 for the brand’s Menswear Spring-Summer 2024. 

This was Pharrell Williams’s official breakout debut as a creative director for Louis Vuitton and it was an exquisite one. The collection featured the iconic Damier motif, with the checkerboard design on everything from the runway to a taxicab-yellow leather suit. Williams also combined the classic “LV” monogram and the word “lovers,” with the show notes reading, “LVERS is a state of mind: warmth, wellbeing, and welcome-ness.” 

The event featured a new Clipse song played by Williams as Pusha T and No Malice walked the runway. Pharrell Williams also performed some of his recent collaborations with the gospel choir Voices Of Fire, “JOY (Unspeakable)” and “Peace Be Still” featuring Chinese pianist Lang Lang. After Williams took his bow, he and the holy grail rapper performed “Frontin’” — Williams’s 2003 debut single featuring Jay Z.

Pusha T and Malice on the runway
Brothers Pusha-T and No Malice of Clipse walked the runway in colourful Louis Vuitton jackets the same night that the hip hop dup debuted a un-released song, the first in many years from the pair.

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.

– Louis Vuitton wrote in a statement.
From Virgil Abloh to Pharrell Williams: Louis Vuitton Continues to Lean Into Black Culture
Pharrell Williams at the Louis Vuitton event in Paris 2023.

Many black celebrities came for the show to honour the late Virgil Abloh and also to celebrate Pharrell Williams on his debut as Louis Vuitton men’s creative director. Black celebrities like Beyoncé and Jay Z, Naomi Campbell, Megan Thee Stallion, Tyler the Creator, Lebron James, Zendaya, Kelly Rowland, Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, Offset, Willow Smith, Lewis Hamilton, Marcus Rashford, Jaden Smith, etc. were at the show.

Beyoncé wore a billowing golden ensemble, along with the iconic Louis Vuitton monogrammed handbag with a gold chain for a handle. Her husband Jay-Z looked regal as ever in a brown suit, complete with a blazer and vest.
Lewis Hamilton
Marcus Rashford
Megan thee stallion
From Virgil Abloh to Pharrell Williams: Louis Vuitton Continues to Lean Into Black Culture
Pharrell Williams and Lebron James
Zendaya

One thing about the black culture and community is that they support their own to the core. The influence they gear up is so natural and heavenly for each other. Williams was grateful to see these people come to his debut show for Louis Vuitton. It was a remarkable night and experience for every black person at the event.

Notwithstanding, other celebrities and influencers of colour graced the show. Fashion is a lifestyle and everyone wants a glimpse of it. 

Offset
Kelly Rowland
From Virgil Abloh to Pharrell Williams: Louis Vuitton Continues to Lean Into Black Culture
Pharrell Williams & Naomi Campbell
Lenny Kravitz
Willow Smith, Jaden Smith, and Tyler the Creator WWD VIA GETTY IMAGES
From Virgil Abloh to Pharrell Williams: Louis Vuitton Continues to Lean Into Black Culture
Willow Smith & Jaden Smith
Rihanna and A$AP ROCKY

The event went beyond a fashion show; it was more of a celebration with your favourite celebrities in one place. The runway show featured a mixture of designs, including maximalist logo-fuelled pieces like a fuzzy, full-length coat adorned with LV logos (the collection used both real and faux fur), as well as a football-style shirt displaying the Louis Vuitton crest. Smart tailoring and numerous bags were also part of the collection.

Louis Vuitton Spring Summer Menwear 2024

A standout moment, possibly a first in the fashion world, was a Jeep convertible driving down the runway, loaded with luggage. The slogan “LV is for Lovers” paid homage to the creative director’s home state, Virginia, and its famous tagline “Virginia is for lovers.”

Louis Vuitton’s new men’s Spring/Summer collection
Louis Vuitton’s new men’s Spring/Summer collection
Louis Vuitton’s new men’s Spring/Summer collection

Closing the show, the creative director made a stylish appearance in a suit featuring a pixelated camouflage print, which was also worn by his four children seated in the front row.

Pharrell Williams hugging his family at the show.

There are so many other stars in your constellation. Once you realize that the constellation isn’t even your doing, you’re lucky to exist and shine in that moment where the universe has put these things around you to make a sign,” Williams told Vogue ahead of his debut collection. “That is how I felt with this appointment. I woke up and got that call, so I’m honored.” He continued, “I’m continuing to give reverence to the universe for sending this my way.

Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams is a true creative force, with a passion for music, fashion, and social change. His unique vision and boundless energy have made him a beloved figure in popular culture, and his impact on the industry is sure to be felt for years to come.

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