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The Yellow Ball, Arrivals, New York, USA - 10 Sep 2018

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Pharrell Williams has been made the new creative director of Louis Vuitton menswear. French publication Le Figaro spilled the beans on Valentine’s Day before either the 169-year-old luxury fashion house or Skateboard P did. But Williams has now cleaned out his entire Instagram page except for one lone post confirming the news.

“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,” said Pietro Beccari, Louis Vuitton’s Chairman and CEO, in a statement. “His creative vision beyond fashion will undoubtedly lead Louis Vuitton towards a new and very exciting chapter.”

Williams steps into the role about 15 months after the passing of Louis Vuitton’s previous artistic director of menswear, late visionary Virgil Abloh. And the reason for the subtle difference in titles between Abloh and Williams should become more visible to fashionistas later this year, when the 49-year-old super producer unveils his debut collection during Paris Fashion Week this coming June.

However, Williams has teamed up with Louis Vuitton in the past for some memorable drops. In 2005, the pair collaborated with Japanese designer and creative Nigo on the iconic Millionaire sunglasses collection. Then three years later, Williams was tapped again by jewelry consultant Camille Miceli to develop the Blason Collection for LV. Some of the wares sold for as much as $621,000.

And in 2019, Abloh released a re-envisioned model of the Louis Vuitton specs from Nigo and Williams, called the 1.1 Millionaires. The following year, Abloh spoke with the New York Times about how his own career trajectory was influenced by In Search of…, Williams’ 2001 album with fellow Neptunes producer and N.E.R.D. member Chad Hugo.

“As a kid growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, skateboarding and finding my own identity, it resonated with me more than hip-hop on its own,” Abloh said in 2020. “[It said] that it was fine to be in between. And I think that has described a whole generation of young Black kids and artists who have since been determined to be themselves and jump through that door that was opened by Pharrell.”