Williams invited a host of celebrity friends to his first gig as male creative director for the luxury brand, which took place on the iconic stage.
Pharrell Williams brought the worlds of fashion and music together in Paris on Tuesday night for his blockbuster premiere for Louis Vuitton. About 1,750 guests attended the show, including Jay-Z, Beyonce, Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, Zendaya, Naomi Campbell, Kim Kardashian, Jared Leto and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo. The scale of the event not only demonstrates the grandeur of Williams’ vision and Louis Vuitton’s firepower as a luxury brand — its sales exceed 20 billion euros by 2022 — but also the strength from its Parisian roots.
As revealed before the show, house codes such as Damier checks have been reinterpreted and used on some of the 71 appearances. Louis Vuitton’s popular Speedy bag also has an update in a variety of bright colors. The word “Lovers”, which incorporates the LV monogram, is emblazoned on a jacket – referring to the broader theme of the collection. Revived from the archives, the phrase “Marque L. Vuitton Déposée” has been seen both on the catwalk and on Jay-Z’s custom leather jackets. Meanwhile, Williams wears trousers and a jacket featuring the new “Damoflage” pattern, which appears throughout the collection, including tailoring, intarsia and fur coats.
And while Williams took the helm of menswear, three female models – including Liya Kebede – took to the catwalk, asserting his gender agnostic view of fashion (“I make things for people,” he told Vogue Business before the show).
Paris was the protagonist of the event: guests were taken by boat to the performance venue on le Pont Neuf, Paris’ oldest bridge at the foot of the Louis Vuitton headquarters and LVMH’s Cheval Blanc hotel. There, the show takes place against the backdrop of the Seine River and the Eiffel Tower. The bridge is covered with Louis Vuitton’s signature Damier check in gold. One of the attendees said: “It was like a performance at the destination – but in Paris.
Then there’s the three-hour experience, in which music takes center stage alongside fashion that fits Williams’ background as a musician and producer. There is a band playing music composed by Williams and a gospel choir. The excitement peaked when Jay-Z started performing and Williams joined him on stage. “I’m so proud of you,” Jay-Z told Williams, who was appointed male creative director for the luxury home – making him the first multi-season successor to the late Virgil Abloh – was announced in February.
“I love the collection – the seams, the perspective, the special music, the ending. I have rarely seen such an atmosphere. He really impressed me with his tailoring,” Sidney Toledano, President and CEO of LVMH Fashion Group, said after the show.
Local residents are watching from their windows, as are guests at the Cheval Blanc hotel. Then, famous chef Jean Imbert’s chicken nuggets (the man behind Monsieur Dior restaurant on Avenue Montaigne) is served with cocktails.
The show and the show were streamed live across the globe. Williams said on stage: “Where in the world are you tonight, you are here with us in Paris.
Louis Vuitton CEO Pietro Beccari, who assumed the role in February and appointed Williams shortly thereafter, is no stranger to securing unique venues: when he was CEO of Fendi, the house that celebrated its 90th anniversary at the Trevi fountain; During his tenure at Dior, the house hosted a show in front of the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Securing the use of the Pont Neuf is another feat. “Two generations of fashion will remember