In three weeks and one day, Pharrell Williams will make his Louis Vuitton menswear debut. The most anticipated show of the season, if not the year, marks a new phase in fashion’s relationship with celebrities. Until now, the industry has capitalized on adjacencies, like the recent collaboration we just witnessed between Donatella Versace and pop sensation Dua Lipa at the Cannes Film Festival.
Innovation and Hidden Messages
However, there was room for other ideas and themes. Among them, a jacket, t-shirt, and shorts printed with “flyers” embedded with messages (“a trunk for six bottles and a suitcase for dolls,” “rework, remodel, repeat,” etc.) and art graphics. Another jacket featured pearl embroidery that reads “calligraphy and a violin case.” What it refers to isn’t clear, but the notion that it might hold a hidden meaning seems central to its appeal.
Expectations Rise for Pharrell’s Debut
Williams has been handed the keys and as the June 20 showtime approaches — the date was moved from Vuitton’s usual Thursday slot to Tuesday, the opening night of Paris men’s week — fashion watchers and LV collectors alike are wondering how Williams’s vision for the house will diverge from that of his friend and predecessor, Virgil Abloh. In this regard, this pre-spring lineup is a useful reminder of the late designer’s signatures. It’s the work of the design studio that Abloh built.