Why Pharrell makes sense for Louis Vuitton
A few quick thoughts on why it might be a good move for both parties.
In case you missed it: LVMH just announced this afternoon that Pharrell Williams will be Louis Vuitton’s new Men’s Designer.
This is a big deal, mostly because LV hasn’t filled this important role since the passing of the late Virgil Abloh. And everyone wondered who that person would be.
Well, it’s Pharrell.
And honestly, it's not that surprising that they tapped him to take on this role. LV has consistently shown that they want to chart a different path from many other fashion houses over the last few years.
Here are five reasons why I think it'll work...
1. Pharrell is a veteran
He's almost 50 years old.
The dude has been creating stuff for over 30+ years. This isn't LV taking a risk on someone unproven. He's *more than* put the time in to step into this role, depending on how you see what this role *is*.
2. Pharrell is a curator
"But he can't design?!"
He’s not Virgil. And he doesn't need to be.
1. He's got a team of designers joining him, most notably Edward Robinson (left, Chief Creative Officer from Humanrace).
2. Pharrell will be more curational in nature, and LV knows they're not signing a traditional designer.
I think what people are missing from this conversation is that the role of a designer at traditional fashion houses rapidly evolving. The needs aren’t what they used to be.
3. Pharrell is dialed in
As culturally dialed as they come. LV wants someone who sits at the intersection of music, fashion, art, and entertainment to distribute LV into those channels.
And that's what Pharrell gives them.
He can pull whomever he wants into LV's circle in a way that drives more clout and revenue for the LV brand. Not every designer has that kind of draw.
4. Pharrell is entrepreneurial
He knows how to sell a vision, brand, and most importantly himself.
Between his music, his work as a producer, and brands he's built like Billionaire Boys Club (with Nigo) or Humanrace, Pharrell understands how to build shit.
And not all designers do.
But Pharrell being able to curate and assemble the right team, the right products, and right moments in a meaningful way is what can make him succeed in this role.
5. Pharrell knows luxury
Did you see what he did with JOOPITER, his personal auction?
His collection of archived goods is reason enough to know he has strong taste.
And so much of luxury today is knowing not *only* how to design something but how to make your brand show up in the right ways and contexts.
Pharrell understands that.
All of this makes for a wonderful opportunity with LV.
Again, they don't want some high-in-the-clouds, high-brow designer to technically design the garments behind the curtain. They want a dot connector. And Pharrell seems like that guy.