There are few brands with a more influential footprint than Louis Vuitton, and its menswear division is currently going through a transition period that stands to redefine fashion for generations to come.
The loss of a legend
Tragedy paved the way for the fashion house’s new direction when 41-year-old designer Virgil Abloh died of cancer in late 2021. He still had one collection left to reveal after his death, and it was revealed months after his death in Paris.
Even as Louis Vuitton and the entire fashion world mourned the massive loss of such a visionary talent, there was plenty of discussion going on in the background about who his successor might be.
Industry insider Floriane de Saint Pierre, for example, suggested thinking far outside of the box when it came to finding someone to fill Abloh’s shoes.
“Virgil brought much more than design,” she said. “He brought a cultural voice to everything he did. That’s why his work resonated and continues to resonate so deeply.”
Instead of searching for a replacement within the fashion realm, she opined that “the only way is a brilliant cultural mind to select and lead talents.”
The search is over
It appears that Louis Vuitton executives heeded the calls to reach beyond the realm of high fashion to find a new men’s creative director. This week, the company announced in an Instagram post that Pharrell Williams would be stepping into the role.
Best known as a rapper and hip-hop producer, Williams isn’t a stranger to high fashion. Not only was he Chanel’s first male ambassador, but he has contributed to previous designs for Louis Vuitton and Tiffany.
As the statement explained, he “is a visionary whose creative universes expand from music to art, and to fashion — establishing himself as a cultural global icon.”