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Pharell Williams: musician-turned-designer opens Paris men's fashion week

Fashion designer and singer Pharrell Williams at the end of the Louis Vuitton Menswear Spring-Summer 2024 in Paris.   -  
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JULIEN DE ROSA/AFP or licensors


Pharell Williams presented the Louis Vuitton spring summer 2024 menswear collection at the Pont Neuf in Paris.

The show is the most eagerly awaited event of the season, with guests set to view the catwalk on Paris' oldest bridge from boats on the Seine. 

This is the first show for the musician-turned-designer after taking over the menswear collections for the world's most lucrative brand, which made more than 20 billion euros (($22 billion) in revenue last year.

"We can expect a commercial hit -- it's not just one of the most highly anticipated collections of fashion week but a very significant moment in fashion history," said Alexandre Samson, of Paris fashion museum Palais Galliera.

A brand that "sells culture"

Many labels have moved away from the big-name designers of the past like Jean-Paul Gaultier and Karl Lagerfeld, preferring more discreet professionals.

But Louis Vuitton is going the other way, putting a full-blown celebrity in charge.

It follows its last show in January when a performance by Spanish pop superstar Rosalia was almost more of a focus than the clothes on the runway.

It is "consistent with LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault's idea that Louis Vuitton does not sell handbags but sells culture", said bank HSBC in a briefing note.

A red carpet sensation

The 50-year-old Williams nonetheless faces a major challenge filling the shoes of Virgil Abloh, the former Kanye West sidekick who breathed new streetwear-infused life into Louis Vuitton prior to his tragically early death from cancer in 2021.

But he has long been a red carpet sensation, known for daring outfits that go far beyond the usual hip-hop stylings, and a string of collaborations with Chanel, Moncler and Tiffany -- as well as Louis Vuitton.

The Louis Vuitton show opens men's fashion week in Paris which runs from June 20 to June 25, 2023.

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