The big show at Paris Menswear Fashion Week this weekend was Loewe. Loewe feels, to me, like the way Gucci was a few years ago with everyone obsessed and all the celebrities dripping in the double Gs which, of course, translates down to the masses like us. I was in New York a couple of months ago and I walked by the Soho flagship and there was a line outside of people waiting to get in just to browse.
One of the main attractions at the Loewe show on Saturday was the man fresh off his triumph at another fashion house. That would be Louis Vuitton’s new creative director for menswear, Pharrell Williams. It’s not an overstatement to say that Pharrell’s LV debut was one of the most highly anticipated events in the industry in years – and the show was huge, both in volume for just how many pieces were produced, and also in hype. From the celebrity guest list to the reaction to the runway, Pharrell was the story… and it’s a major success story. Because even if you don’t like his vision, the Minecraft, the Damouflage, etc etc etc, you know about it. Everyone was talking about it, debating over it, and the product will sell, there’s no doubt it will sell. Or be copied by high street brands and sell.
So Pharrell is taking a victory lap…and accessorising with his own design. Which is what people are calling the “crown jewel” of his first collection – the Speedy bag.
“[The Speedy bag is the]… hero accessory, the piece around which he could build campaigns and drive gargantuan sales. He needed an it bag. His idea was to use the iconic LV Speedy bag, in primary colors, riffing on Canal Street counterfeits. But, he tells me, “I did what they can't do. Use real, next level, buttery, buttery crushed leather.” I have touched this leather and it is, in fact, improbably soft, like it could be spread on toast. The bag is supple and unstructured and pleasantly droopy. Carrying one in your arm is like holding an adorable, fat puppy.”
The bag already has a nickname – the “Millionaire” bag:
Pharrell explaining the â€œMillionaireâ€ Louis Vuitton duffel bag âœ¨ pic.twitter.com/5MZuvzJxUi— garÃ§on (@boymolish) June 23, 2023
Every show he went to this weekend Pharrell had the Millionaire Speedy with him, sitting front row with it on his lap while other pieces from other brands were showcased on the runway. A flex, no doubt. But it’s these kinds of moves that drive desire. Never mind the civilian waitlist, the celebrity waitlist for this is now probably impossibly long.