Who else is excited about Paris Fashion Week Men’s? Where newly-appointed Louis Vuitton menswear creative director Pharrell Williams drops his first campaign for the label featuring Rihanna as a teaser pre-show. If this is a clue of what’s to come, Style Cartel is here for it! This move exemplifies his talent for seamlessly fuse music, fashion and celebrity culture. Signalling the shape of things to come, the campaign was released in Paris before the runway show on June 20, 2023. Who’s got the golden ticket?
Pharrell X Rihanna Louis Vuitton Campaign
Paris, June 2023 – In his first campaign for Louis Vuitton, Pharrell Williams ignites his vision for the Maison with the new Speedy: an adaptation of the emblematic Speedy bag contextualised in imagery featuring Rihanna photographed by Keizō Kitajima and Martine Syms. The proposal – released days after his debut show – expands on the foundation for the Men’s Creative Director’s practice at Louis Vuitton.
It represents the union of two everyday icons: a luxury bag founded in codes of reality, embodied by an artist of universal human appeal. The campaign was styled by Cynthia Lu and Matthew Henson, both long-time collaborators of Pharrell Williams. In the lead-up to the show, a campaign teaser graced the façade of Musée d’Orsay.
The new Speedy is informed by the cosmopolitan nucleus that inspired Pharrell Williams’ early education in luxury: Canal Street on Lower Manhattan, New York City; a cultural axis invigorated by a diverse energy and hustle mentality echoed in corresponding streets around the metropoles of the world. Evolved from the classic Speedy – one of the first bags Pharrell Williams owned – the new Speedy conjures through the inimitable savoir-faire of the Maison a visual language evocative of the codes and stylistic attitude of Canal Street. It is an everyday icon conceived for every walk of life.
While Williams oversees creatives for menswear, he’s already showing a penchant for shaking the table by selecting women as the star of his first campaign. Revealed with a massive billboard in Paris, the campaign features Rihanna in all her pregnant glory belly bump, which is so hood luxury, wearing a black pixilated leather shirt contrasted by three colourful monogram LV bags draped over her arms and a cup of coffee in her hands.
Fitting her star power and style, Williams stands committed in front of the billboard in a head-to-toe black leather jacket and jeans.
First Louis Vuitton Campaign
The campaign serves as an offset to the creative direction of Pharrell Williams at the Louis Vuitton Studio Prêt-à-Porter Homme. Released in tandem with the Spring-Summer 2024 Men’s Show, it employs thought-provoking imagery not simply as an illustration of the collection but as part of the proposal itself. The image is an artefact created to alter perceptions, challenge history, and evolve an existing legacy. Personified by a pregnant Rihanna – a symbol of human empowerment and the quintessential everyday icon – the men’s campaign reflects the re-contextualisation at the core of Pharrell Williams’ approach to the Maison.
Beyond her reputation as one of the world’s most stylish superstars, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty partnership with Louis Vuitton’s Kendo division makes her an apt choice to rep the label. Arriving less than a week before the runway, the campaign raises the question of Rihanna walking the show. We hope and pray to get the golden ticket to the show.
Follow us on TikTok & stay updated on everything in Fashion & Culture. Check out the best collaborations to add to your rotation this week, follow @stylecartel on Instagram, and sign up for our newsletter for early access to the best drops sent to your inbox.
Stay tuned to StyleCartel for more Fashion content.