Wed. Sep 27th, 2023

Menswear fashion month has commenced, and Pharrell’s Louis Vuitton runway debut is this season’s most anticipated event. Though we’re still a few days out from the show, which will open Paris Men’s Fashion Week on June 20, the superproducer gave a sneak peek into his inaugural collection on Thursday via Instagram, where he posted a photo posed in front of a massive new Louis Vuitton campaign billboard on the side of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The advertisement features the French house’s newest campaign star: Rihanna.

In the image, Rihanna wears a leather shirt in a pixelated version of LV’s signature Damier check that’s unbuttoned to expose her pregnant belly. (Rih and partner A$AP Rocky are currently expecting their second child.) She’s carrying a to-go coffee cup while balancing armfuls of monogrammed Vuitton bags in red, yellow, and green. Pharrell and Rih are longtime musical collaborators, and Louis Vuitton confirmed to GQ via email that the billboard is part of its upcoming men’s Spring-Summer 2024 campaign starring the songstress.

(Rihanna also previously held her now-shuttered luxury line Fenty Maison under the French luxury conglomerate LVMH, which owns Louis Vuitton.)

Though the billboard is Pharrell’s first official missive of his Vuitton gig, he also recently released some LV-branded merch at his Something In The Water music festival, which took place in Pharrell’s native Virginia Beach in April. “I wouldn’t read too much into the co-branded LV merchandise,” GQ’s Sam Hine wrote earlier this week, adding that “the merch is just merch, albeit underwritten by his new employer.” But Hine did predict that P’s debut might, as his LV predecessor Virgil Abloh’s collections so often did, emphasize the surreality of his new position. “Like Abloh’s, Pharrell’s work will emphasize just how far he’s had to climb to reach the summit of luxury menswear.”

Given Rihanna’s on-the-go java and trio of LV handbags—conspicuously the colors of a traffic light—-the billboard seems to suggest a ready…set…go! signal on the brand’s next chapter.

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