Entertainment

Pharrell Williams has been hired by Louis Vuitton to head the artistic direction of its menswear designs – filling the high-profile position left vacant since the death of star designer Virgil Abloh over a year ago.

“Louis Vuitton is delighted to welcome @Pharrell as its new Men’s Creative Director”, the fashion house said in a tweet, confirming earlier media reports.

The brand added that Williams’ first collection for the label will be shown during Men’s Fashion Week in Paris, held in June.

Williams, 49, rose to fame as a music producer and the lead vocalist of N.E.R.D, and has been hailed as one of the most influential and successful producers of the 21st century.

He has also enjoyed a successful solo singer-songwriter career, famed for hits including Happy and Blurred Lines.

Happy, which Williams wrote for the animated movie Despicable Me 2, earned him one of his two Oscar nominations. His second Academy nod was for producer of best picture nominee Hidden Figures.

Williams has also been known for his unique style and has extensive experience in the fashion industry, playing a role in the rise of streetwear as well as co-founding the label Billionaire Boys Club with Japanese designer Nigo in 2003.

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He has also launched collaborations with Adidas as well as luxury brands Moncler and Chanel.

In 2004, he collaborated with Louis Vuitton designer Marc Jacobs to design eyewear for the label.

‘A significant hire’

Williams created a buzz last year when he attended Nigo’s debut fashion show in Paris for LVMH-owned label Kenzo wearing diamond-studded glasses by Tiffany, which was another design project with a brand belonging to LVMH.

“Williams is a significant hire, needed to fill the big boots left by Virgil Abloh,” said analysts at Credit Suisse.

They also noted that the “major move” by the new CEO, Pietro Beccari, suggests the brand’s links with pop culture and music will continue.

Abloh died at the age of 41 after a private battle with cancer in 2021.

The influential Louis Vuitton menswear designer and founder of fashion label Off-White was diagnosed with cardiac angiosarcoma – a rare, aggressive form of cancer – in 2019.

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