Pharrell and Luxury Fashion’s Hip-Hop Obsession

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The appointment of the storied hip-hop and pop producer Pharrell Williams to the creative director of men’s wear at Louis Vuitton marks a new phase of the union of hip-hop style and luxury clothing, two worlds that have been hurtling toward each other for more than two decades, but have lately become close kin.

Williams steps into a role that had been fundamentally remade by Virgil Abloh, a protégé of Kanye West, who made Louis Vuitton a must-see and, for many, a must-wear during the years he was in charge (until his death in 2020). Williams comes to the role with a long history of pushing the boundaries of hip-hop style, a series of big brand collaborations and the mystique of global celebrity.

On this week’s Popcast, a conversation about how hip-hop style has become a key part of men’s wear, how Williams has been central to connecting the dots between streetwear and luxury, and the potential directions Louis Vuitton might take under his direction.


Aria Hughes, editorial creative director of Complex

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