While writing this review, "Good People" by Mumford & Sons and Pharrell Williams is playing on Spotify. Ever since the song was played as part of Louis Vuitton's Autumn/Winter 2024 menswear runway show soundtrack, it's been stuck in my head ever since. A stirring rhythm made perfect by Mumford & Sons' signature musicality, it was one of four original songs Williams worked together with other musicians to amplify the mood of the show. "Good People" is the only one that has been released on streaming platforms.

Lest we forget, multi-hyphenate Williams has had an accomplished music career for decades now. As a producer, he was responsible for some of the greatest, most addictive hits—from Usher's "U Don't Have to Call" to Camila Cabello's "Havana". Williams knows that the music is just as important as the collection walking down the runway. "Good People"'s country-esque undertones and marching beat felt rousing as models walked fast in the makeshift showspace right next to Fondation Louis Vuitton.

And just like how he'd collaborated with a number of artists for the soundtrack, the Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2024 collection was also an amalgamation of many different cultures and aspects of his home state of Virginia. The overarching Americana-themed collection saw plenty of cowboy-inspired looks with American Western motifs and silhouettes running rampant throughout. They were added with touches by both the Dakota and Lakota nations—not only in the accessories, but also the staging of the show and soundtrack.

The collaborations didn't stop there. The runway show debuted a collaboration with American brand Timberland. Some of the work boots were housed within clear plexiglass and Monogram canvas Louis Vuitton trunks carried by models like prized possessions—these are set to be limited editions. There were a few iterations of the Timberland x Louis Vuitton collaborations and they're crafted by the team at Louis Vuitton's Italian ateliers.

The role of a creative director is more than just about designing. It's about bringing together multiple ideas, streamlining them, at times editing them, and ensuring that everything feels cohesive. Williams has had decades of practice albeit not as long within the fashion realm, but the man clearly knows his stuff. And this third outing with the maison proves it.

The fit: Part-cowboy and part-American workwear, the entire Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2024 menswear collection were essentially reworked updates on classic American Western tropes. Tailoring—a segment that Williams has excelled in with Louis Vuitton—made use of boot-cuts and flares with a bodice that was proportionally slim. When they were not rendered in variations of the camouflage Monogram, they were decorated with fine embellishments and at times, Dakota flower motifs in stunning placements.

While some looks may border on the side of being a tad too costume-y, the entire collection felt more like contemporary reimaginings of American Western clichés designed to be wearable and elevated. Cowboy buckle belts for example, were branded with Vuitton in the maison's signature scripts with other versions displaying a more craft-centric approach. And the styling too was quite enjoyable to see as these classic tropes came together in all their warm, dessert-like hues.

The details: It'd be remiss of me to talk about a Louis Vuitton collection without mentioning the bags. The classic Steamer was reintroduced in three sizes, including a massive 65-cm silhouette that was hard to miss out on as it made its way down the runway. The massive Steamer could easily fit a cabin-sized luggage inside of it. There were Speedy affixed with gems and others designed in new forms, including a studded saddle version.

What caught my eyes the most were the worn out treatment of the Monogram canvas. Rendered to look as though the bags themselves have been baked in the sun for a long time, creating a beautiful light patina along the sides.

Three exceptional looks: Look 13's play on the flamboyant nuances of American Western ensembles, with a flared trim around the torso; everything about look 28 from the all-white suit with abstract prints and contrasted with that bold, in-your-face Speedy; and the closing look of a leather Monogram suiting crafted to perfection.

The takeaway: Louis Vuitton may have indeed found the right person to continue to evolve Louis Vuitton into more than just a luxury fashion brand.

View the full Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2024 menswear collection in the gallery below.

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After two show-stopping shows in succession—a debut on one of Paris' famous brides and a takeover of a Hong Kong landmark—creative director Pharrell Williams is readying his third outing for Louis Vuitton.

As one would imagine, details are somewhat scant at the moment. All that we know thus far is the location of the show in Paris (it's still under embargo but we know) and the teaser of Virginia being a point of reference. Williams was born in Virginia Beach, Virginia and it's clear that he'd probably include inspirations from his home state or even perhaps memories from his childhood. How that will eventually pan out, is anybody's guess.

But after a debut that saw such a strong support from the Black entertainment community—Beyoncé and Rihanna at the same event—we're left guessing how Williams is going to top the theatrics this time around. And most importantly, what new, reimagined Louis Vuitton icons will be presented.

For any confirmation, stay tuned for the show this Wednesday. And for an even closer look at the collection, follow @esquiresg on Instagram as we bring you the action live from Paris Fashion Week Men's.

What: Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2024 menswear runway show
Where: Paris, France
When: Wednesday, 17 January 2024 at 3am Singapore time

Beyoncé and Jay-Z were not in attendance at the Louis Vuitton Pre-Autumn 2024 menswear show in Hong Kong as rumoured—nor were Zendaya. There was also no post-runway performance as what we saw during Pharrell Williams' debut show during Paris Fashion Week Men's. But that didn't mean that there was any lack of a "show".

Apart from the occasion being a milestone first for both Louis Vuitton and Williams—it was the first Louis Vuitton show to be held in Hong Kong and its first menswear pre-collection to be staged ever as well as being William's first pre-collection outing—quite a lot was at stake. Williams' debut (as all debuts go) served as an introductory teaser to his vision for the maison. The Louis Vuitton Pre-Autumn 2024 menswear collection was an opportunity to drive down those ideas even further, especially in a more commercial setting.

Less we forget, the pre-collections are conceptually commercial fillers to the main seasonal collections. And by commercial, I mean more accessible (fashion-wise) to the average consumer who perhaps isn't looking to purchase an embellished suit or a head-to-toe Monogram fit. Williams appeared to achieve just that with his 64-strong showcase that, while noticeably pared back as compared to his Spring/Summer 2024 debut, offered a number of more extravagant pieces that tied back to his overarching vision for the maison.

Staged on the Avenue of Stars in view of Hong Kong's cityscape, Louis Vuitton recreated a beach complete with sand and floor-screens that displayed continuous waves of water meeting the "shoreline". Williams took reference from surf culture as well as nautical influences that all point to the moon as an element that binds them all together.

The runway show ended with a parade led by Williams himself. But not before a drone-filled sky took on shapes that alluded to the show's narrative of LVers travelling from Hawaii to Hong Kong—show-stopping enough to gather everyone's attention.

The fit: The Louis Vuitton Pre-Autumn 2024 menswear collection was teeming with surf and nautical references. At its very literal, sailor motifs—flap collars, berets, and Dixie cup hats—were prevalent as running elements throughout. These were then amplified with Hawaiian prints reimagined as a new take of the maison's Monogram motif, appearing on bags, accessories, tailoring, and of course, Hawaiian shirts.

What's quickly becoming key for Williams' Louis Vuitton menswear is tailoring—a surprising approach given his streetwear leanings similar to that of the late Virgil Abloh. While there were a number of streetwear-inspired separates ranging from oversized shirting to mixed-material outerwear, the collection consisted of a heavy emphasis on tailoring. Suits were aplenty and came in a number of iterations and embellishments, and were all finished with mother of pearl buttons. When they're not paired with signature-Williams berms, suit trousers were flared for a decidedly stylish touch.

The most labour-intensive creation came in the form of the closing look's spectacular bomber jacket. Crafted from denim, the entire piece was covered with crystals and pearls depicting Poseidon, fish, florals and water—a nod to the lakes and fisherman of Williams' hometown of Virginia.

The details: Bags and accessories heavily leaned on the nautical spirit of the collection. The most literal were leather charms that took on the forms of sea creatures and were fixed on the collection's bags. The new Surfing Monogram—that combination of Hawaiian prints and the LV Monogram—appeared in four different colourways on a number of pieces including Williams' new iteration of the emblematic Keepall bag.

Three exceptional looks: Look 9's clever update to a striped coordinate that's interpreted with pearl embellishments (including a mini LV charm interspersed throughout); the burnt orange ensemble of look 40 that's decorated with floral appliqués and topped with a woven beret; and the all-denim look 57 cleverly styled with a simple hint of a surfer-inspired charm.

The takeaway: Williams knows what's he's doing with Louis Vuitton, no doubt about it.

View the full Louis Vuitton Pre-Autumn 2024 menswear collection in the gallery below.

Photo by Louis Vuitton.

Louis Vuitton men's creative director Pharrell Williams certainly knows how to make waves. After a show-stopping debut during June's Paris Fashion Week Men's, Williams is bringing the maison's Pre-Autumn 2024 collection to Hong Kong.

The staging of a Louis Vuitton menswear pre-collection runway show has never been done before. The maison typically opts for a lookbook release (pre-collections tend to be more commercial in aesthetic as compared to main runway collections) instead of making it an event like what its womenswear division does. There's no denying that with Williams' debut garnering the kind of reach brands clamour for—Louis Vuitton reported over one billion views across its owned platforms as well as its press accounts—the maison is hoping to replicate a similar moment once again.

The Louis Vuitton Men's Pre-Autumn 2024 runway show will also mark the first time that the maison stages a show in Hong Kong. The show will see the takeover of the famed Avenue of Stars as well as the neighbouring K11 MUSEA—both iconic landmarks of the city.

What could the collection look like? Well, that remains to be seen. But if the teaser is anything to go by, we're expecting to see semblances of cruise-appropriate designs interspersed with Williams' inimitable sense of style. Or perhaps sailor-esque fits embellished with pearls.

What: Louis Vuitton Men's Pre-Autumn 2024 runway show
Where: Hong Kong
When: Thursday, 30 November 2023 at 8pm Singapore time

Loïc Prigent hosts Louis Vuitton's first podcast series.

Loïc Prigent, the famous French fashion journalist and documentary maker, is a constant figure at just about every fashion show, capturing moments and people, and narrating every highlight in his unmistakable French-accented voice. He’s now lending his vocals to Louis Vuitton’s debut podcast series Louis Vuitton [Extended] where he brings listeners through various facets of the maison’s universe.

“Art and culture—these two words in their broadest sense are the real things at Louis Vuitton,” Prigent pronounces as an introduction to the podcast’s first episode. The entire premise of Louis Vuitton [Extended] is to serve as a new vehicle for telling the story of the maison—from its expansive repertoire of fashion to the many events held on an international scale. The key elements of the series are interviews with creative minds behind the maison, the likes of creative director of women’s collections Nicolas Ghesquière, master perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud and artistic director of watches and jewellery Francesca Amfitheatrof, will appear in upcoming episodes. And with Louis Vuitton known for its many collaborative endeavours across every aspect of its business, you can expect appearances by a host of personalities from artists and designers to athletes and chefs.

Louis Vuitton [Extended] begins with Pharrell Williams, the maison’s newest men’s creative director. In the 26-minute episode, Pharrell and Prigent are joined by Bishop Ezekiel Williams—Pharrell’s uncle, who helms the Voices on Fire choir that provided a soaring end to the Spring/Summer 2024 menswear runway show this past June—as they talked about the conceptualisation of the show, creativity and family. The episode is interspersed with moments that Prigent had captured of the show, adding context for listeners who haven’t yet watched it. We are struck by how atmospheric and incredibly intimate it is at the same time.

The first episode features men's creative director Pharrell Williams.

That Louis Vuitton is venturing into podcast is anything but out of left field. The storied maison takes storytelling seriously. If anyone needs convincing, just take a gander into its incredibly detailed collection notes as well as the many published tomes that cover both in-house stories and travel itineraries.

There is no telling how long the podcast series will go on. But for now, Louis Vuitton [Extended] is scheduled to drop new episodes on a bimonthly basis with each spanning between 20 and 40 minutes.

And quite honestly, who better to host a series on one of the most famous French brands than a characteristically French man?

Louis Vuitton [Extended] is available on all audio streaming platforms.

Photo by Louis Vuitton

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.

Photo by Louis Vuitton

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.

Photo by Louis Vuitton
Photo by Louis Vuitton

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.

Look 1. Photo by Louis Vuitton
Look 2. Photo by Louis Vuitton
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