His first collection for Louis Vuitton will be revealed this June during the Men’s Fashion Week in Paris.
Williams fills the high-profile creative role, which has remained vacant since 2021 when Louis Vuitton's former artistic director for menswear and Off-White founder Virgil Abloh died at the age of 41 following a private battle with cancer. The appointment makes Williams the second Black American to be named the head designer of a European luxury fashion brand, following Abloh.
As Forbes notes, Williams is the second prominent musician to partner with LVMH, Louis Vuitton’s parent company, after Rihanna was hired on to develop the luxury apparel line Fenty in 2019.
Williams has flexed his creative muscle across music, art and fashion – establishing himself as a cultural, global icon over the past 20 years. "The way in which he breaks boundaries across the various worlds he explores aligns with Louis Vuitton’s status as a cultural maison, reinforcing its values of innovation, pioneer spirit and entrepreneurship," the luxury brand said in a statement.
Pietro Beccari, Louis Vuitton’s chairman and CEO, commented, “I am glad to welcome Pharrell back home, after our collaborations in 2004 and 2008 for Louis Vuitton, as our new men’s creative director. His creative vision beyond fashion will undoubtedly lead Louis Vuitton towards a new and very exciting chapter.”
Louis Vuitton is delighted to welcome @Pharrell as its new Men’s Creative Director. His first collection for Louis Vuitton will be revealed next June during Men's Fashion Week in Paris. #LouisVuitton #PharrellWilliams pic.twitter.com/GRCQFfOAHK— Louis Vuitton (@LouisVuitton) February 14, 2023
Williams excels as a fashion designer and entrepreneur with his Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream apparel among other brands. He also owns both Swan restaurant and Bar Bevy in Miami in partnership with David Grutman, and opened The Goodtime Hotel in 2021. Recently he founded Humanrace, a product company with a mission to empower all individuals in their pursuit of well-being across product and people.
But Williams first rose to prominence through his illustrious music career. He has been honoured with 13 Grammy Awards, including 2004, 2014 and 2019 Producer of the Year, and Ascap’s Golden Note Award in 2012. He has received two Academy Award nominations for his original song 'Happy' (Despicable Me 2) and for Best Picture-nominated Hidden Figures as co-producer. Williams also received a Golden Globe nomination for co-scoring the film.
Williams also received an Emmy nomination for his original song 'Letter to My Godfather' for Netflix’s Black Godfather about legendary music executive Clarence Avant. And he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame for his work as The Neptunes.
Williams narrated Universal’s remake of the classic film The Grinch, authored the book A Fish Doesn’t Know It’s Wet, and released the Netflix Original series Brainchild with his producing partner, Mimi Valdés. Other projects include Dope, Roxanne Roxanne, Voices of Fire and Amazon’s Harlem, which has been renewed for a second season and Lena Waithe’s Rollin’ for HBO Max.
In 2019, Williams founded Yellow, a non-profit working to even the odds for all youth through education. He later launched Black Ambition, a non-profit initiative that provides a bridge to success for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs who are launching tech, healthcare, Web 3.0 and consumer products/services startups.
In 2019, Williams launched Something in the Water, a multi-day music festival and experience on the beach in his hometown of Virginia Beach. He took the festival to Washington D.C. on Juneteenth Weekend, and this April, the event returns to Virginia Beach and will continue its mission spotlighting the community