Multiple grammy award winner, artiste, and record producer, Pharrell Williams, has been named creative director of Louis Vuitton menswear, making him the second black person to hold the position after former creative director, Ghanaian-American-born, Virgil Abloh, sadly passed away in November 2021.
Louis Vuitton announced that Williams’ title would be instated “effective immediately” and his first collection will be in June 2023 during the menswear season at Paris Fashion Week.
The menswear department had been without a director since Abloh died of cancer two years ago.
Williams emerged as a surprise candidate for the job. According to Dezeen, it was a two-horse race between Liberian-American fashion designer, Telfar Clemens, and Jamaican-British fashion designers, Grace Wales Bonner and Martine Rose.
Williams, a two-time Oscar nominee, has been involved in the fashion industry for almost as long as his music career. In 2013, he co-founded the streetwear label, Billionaire Boy’s Club. He was also in charge of a sublabel of Billionaire Boy’s Club named Ice Cream.
According to Euronews, he has worked with brands like Chanel and collaborated with luxury brand designer, Marc Jacobs, to design eyewear for the label in 2004, and again in 2008.
What’s more, he has partnered with top fashion brands like Moncler and Adidas for a number of projects.
“I am happy to see Pharrell return home after our collaborations in 2004 and 2008,” Euronews quoted Pietro Beccari, CEO of Louis Vuitton. “His creative vision beyond fashion will undoubtedly lead Louis Vuitton to a very exciting new chapter.”
In a statement, Louis Vuitton said Williams’ vision in the creative industry expands from music to art and fashion, and has established himself as a cultural global icon over the past twenty years.
“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 statement added.
The “Happy” singer was born on April 5, 1973, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, to Pharaoh – a handyman, and Carolyn Williams – a teacher. He is the oldest of three children. Music was quite instrumental for young Williams, it was not surprising that he played the snare drum in the marching band while at Princess Anne High School.
He proceeded to Northwestern University, but dropped out two years later to pursue music with his childhood friend, Chad Hugo. They formed an R&B group, The Neptunes, and were eventually discovered by record producer, Teddy Riley, while performing at a high school.
Williams launched his solo career in 2013 with his debut single, “Frontin’,” and a debut album, “In My Mind.” In 2014, he launched his second album, “Girl,” which reached No.1 on the US R&B chart as well as in Australia, Denmark, Switzerland, and the UK.