Source: Fanny Latour-Lambert/GQ / Fanny Latour-Lambert/GQ
Pharrell Williams is covering GQ’s September issue and opening up about Virgil Abloh’s impact, Louis Vuitton, and the future of fashion.
The cultural icon and super producer is having a BIG 2023. He’s still producing great music and recently was appointed to replace Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton. His first fashion show went down and exceeded expectations with a packed house full of celebs in Paris.
Talks of who should replace Virgil previously caused the internet to be divided but in the end, Pharrell seemed to make both sides happy.
“After the untimely departure of Virgil Abloh, I don’t think I could have chosen a traditionally trained designer,” Louis Vuitton CEO, Pietro Beccari, tells GQ. “I needed someone who was again connected to the arts, who could touch the hearts of people through music and fashion, but also collaborations.” He adds, “He has 13 Grammys and even Oscar nominations. One could say he has a midas touch. So, as a creative director, while it’s an experiment, I think it will be a successful one.”
Pharrell is covering the September issue of GQ and while everyone else has shared their opinion of him replacing Virgil he is finally speaking for himself.
The studio that Pharrell built to record in the LV office is the same spot where Virgil Abloh had installed a DJ booth. It is a brutal reality that this huge opportunity for Pharrell has only been possible because of the tragic and untimely death of Abloh.
“I always knew Virgil was special,” Pharrell says, adding that he’s maintained the connection to Abloh through Louis Vuitton, and some Abloh-designed pieces remain in the line.
“It’s like we’re collaborating in spirit,” Pharrell says. And he has plans to continue to develop the house’s relationship to skateboarding, something that was initiated by Abloh. “I’ll always pay homage to him.”
Additionally, the future of Louis Vuitton was a focus of the cover. The pressure is on to deliver and so far Pharrell has with his first show but fashion moves fast. The always-grounded Virginia native doesn’t seem afraid of the moment and knows the path forward.
“The house has aspirations to grow exponentially, but that growth is not just numbers,” he says. “Growth and taste, growth and setting the bar, growth and exceeding standards. The money follows that. We’re not going to just do things just to make money, or else we’ll just keep making the same belts and sh-t. That’s not what I was brought here to do. I was brought here to shake the tree. That’s how you get the sweetest apples.”
Elsewhere in the story, Pusha-T talks about his musical connection with the producer and their love for VA while Pharrell details the exact moment he accepted his LVMH position. In what sounds like it could be a dream sequence, Pharrell paints the picture of the moment he got the phone call.
He was at his studio in Miami Beach, last December, when he heard from Louis Vuitton CEO Pietro Beccari. “It wasn’t an interview or anything,” Pharrell remembers to writer Noah Johnson. “It was like, ‘Will you accept this position? Will you accept this appointment?’ I’m looking at the water and I’m just like, ‘What?’ ”
Source: Fanny Latour-Lambert/GQ
GQ’s September issue hits newsstands on August 29.