If you’ve been visiting this site recently you know that we’ve been anticipating this for days – this was always going to be the biggest story coming out of Paris Fashion Week: Pharrell Williams’s first collection as the new menswear creative director for Louis Vuitton and the first LV menswear presentation since the death of Virgil Abloh.


The event both honoured Virgil’s memory and built on his legacy. As Andrea Bossi writes at Fashionista

“A gospel choir emerged to close the show, and their hymns didn't just make the runway feel jubilant, but it also recalled a Black funeral, or homegoing, where there is intentionally room for grief and room for joy. Wearing white robes featuring the collection's ubiquitous pixelated print, the choir helped to usher in a new era for the French fashion house while also paying respect to Abloh. 

"The last word doesn't come from the doctor / Who's the world that the doctor comes out of? / Just keep praying beyond the last hour / Now you've witnessed the procedure of power," they sang.”


So what does LV look like in the Pharrell era? The reimagining the classic Louis Vuitton Damier print (checkerboard) is one of the bigger stories. Virgil had already pixelated it a few years ago with a limited selection in bag and pouch form, but now Pharrell has blown it up, digitizing the Damier all over the place so that it’s not just for carry but on the clothes. All over the clothes with a rather distinct Minecraft vibe and adding camouflage to the mix. “Damouflage” is now what they’re calling it. 


There’s also a play on the LV itself and incorporating “LOVE”, which Pharrell told Vogue is the overarching theme of the collection going back to his roots. So they’ve built that into the LV logo using the signature code to form part of the word: 


Some online fashion critics are saying this feels kinda clunky. I personally don’t hate it – and it looks great on this bomber: 

Does it matter what the critics say though? In fashion, critics often don’t determine consumer response. Louis Vuitton is a business. Under the stewardship of Virgil Abloh, it was the most valuable luxury brand in the world. The appointment of Pharrell as menswear creative director was always intended to extend that success. And the thing about these pieces? The Damouflage and the big bold colours and the Pharrell-ness of it all? It will sell. There is no doubt that it will sell. Especially now that people have seen the Minecraft in denim on Rihanna. (More on Rihanna later.) 


Speaking of Rihanna though – that’s what LV also got with their investment in Pharrell. The Grammys would be so lucky to have that kind of turnout. Rihanna and A$AP Rocky and Beyoncé and Jay-Z and Megan Thee Stallion and Tyler the Creator and soooo many major stars showing up to support Pharrell which of course is even more eyeballs and attention and in this case, the brand is banking on that attention translating to purchases. Right now, it’s looking like Pharrell delivered. 

But this might also be a win for someone vying for Succession. As has already been reported, Bernard Arnault, head of LVMH, is supposedly “auditioning” his children for Succession. Alexandre Arnault has had success with Tiffany. And he’s getting shouted out by Pharrell in his interviews to promote LV – apparently it was Alexandre who made the call to Pharrell to offer him the position instead of the CEO of LV. Wonder if this is tipping Succession in his favour?