There were no shortage of celebrities—hailed from all over the world—at the Louis Vuitton spring/summer 2024 menswear runway show. For the first time at the maison, the creative direction of its menswear universe has been handed over to a celebrity too: the multi-hyphenate Pharrell Williams. His star power drew entertainment heavyweights the likes of Beyoncé and husband Jay-Z, expecting couple Rihanna and A$AP Rocky, Singapore's very own JJ Lin, K-pop stars Jackson Wang and BamBam, and more.
Williams delivered a show. Set right on the Pont Neuf, the backdrop was LVMH chief Bernard Arnault's very own slice of Paris—the area on the right bank where the Louis Vuitton studios, department store La Samaritaine, and Cheval Blanc Paris are all situated next to each other and owned by the French conglomerate. Guests sat flanking the entirety of the runway as gospel choir Voices of Fire and an orchestra provided the show's soundtrack.
In many ways, it was reminiscent of the late Virgil Abloh's live runway shows. More than just about the clothes and accessories, Abloh's were moments that intertwined music, art and culture with fashion—Williams did the same. The inclusion of familiar non-model faces in the runway line-up such as fashion designers Stefano Pilati and Dao Yi Chow (amongst other notable personalities outside of fashion) too added to the sense of community and openness beyond traditional fashion elites.
Intentional or not, it did seem as though Williams was paying homage to Abloh in the show's set. The runway was lined in gold, recalling Abloh's first runway show for the maison where he reimagined a yellow brick road. Abloh's tenure at Louis Vuitton was of course, monumentally successful, and if anything, Williams' debut could look to be following the same path.
The fit: There's a decidedly workwear approach peppered throughout the Louis Vuitton spring/summer 2024 menswear collection. Denim coordinates in various treatments and washes—mostly featuring signature Louis Vuitton motifs—were some of the more classic pieces that I could see being perennial pieces season after season. Hardier, almost military-inspired elements were also apparent as they were juxtaposed against tailored options.
The Damier was Williams' key focus, highlighting the house signature rather aggressively. His very own interpretation is the Damoflage—a combination of the camouflage print with the Damier. Rendered in three different colourways, the Damoflage was featured across ready-to-wear and accessories with the traditional camouflage reinterpreted as pixels merging with the Damier. On the more classic front, the Damier was also reimagined in primary colours as previewed by the Rihanna-fronted campaign released prior to the show.
Quite surprisingly, the collection didn't lean heavily into streetwear. Tailoring remained a sizeable bulk of the line-up ranging from oversized cuts in classic fabrications to those embellished with LV charms.
The details: Williams brought out the pearls as trims on tracksuits and a slew of accessories. Reminiscent of the custom Tiffany & Co. glasses that he's often spotted wearing (including for the show), some of the sunglasses featured a mohawk-like arrangement around the frame. Segments of bag straps and chains were also taken over by pearls, and a selection of pearl necklaces as well as brooches added that extra quintessential Williams stamp.
What was quite interesting was Williams' take on the Louis Vuitton teddy bear. First designed by former creative director Marc Jacobs—who also first brought Williams into the Louis Vuitton fold—Williams covered it entirely in Damoflage. And as an extension of the reference, shearling slippers were designed with soles resembling bear paws.
Three exceptional looks: Look 9 for anyone wanting to emulate Williams' style; look 50's all-denim ensemble that could be worn for dressier occasions; and look 69's tailoring-focused look tastefully accessorised with dandy pearls.
The takeaway: It's Louis Vuitton as Williams would wear it. In other words: irreverent and relevant.
View the full Louis Vuitton spring/summer 2024 menswear collection in the gallery below.