“This moment is dedicated to the giant before me. To our brother in spirit.”

Pharrell Williams has come a long way from Princess Anne High School in Virginia, something that he reminded us as we descended off boats from Musée d’Orsay to gather on the historic Pont Neuf painted in a chessboard-like gold for his debut at Louis Vuitton. Of course, Williams isn’t the only one to come a long way as the front row was packed with stars who came out in support from Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Rhianna and A$AP Rocky, Zendaya, Quavo, Jaden Smith, John Boyega, Lewis Hamilton, Russell Westbrook, Takashi Murakami, Maluma, Nigo, KAWS, Omar Sy, Skepta, Offset to LeBron.

The show opened just as the sunset, and while the weather forecast predicted rain it never came. The sun that we all live under, and without its energy life could not exist, played an ongoing role throughout the Louis Vuitton Spring-Summer 2024 Men’s Collection reminding us to shine. The show opened with Pupil King, a film prelude directed by Todd Tourso shot on the bank of the Seine reflecting the show’s themes of love, opportunity, empowerment, and the human condition. Reflecting on William’s own roots we saw his Princess Anne High School epitomized in a varsity jacket meanwhile Louis Vuitton’s roots ran throughout the collection with the Damier pattern spliced up with camouflage, an 8-bit Atari pixel edition by ET Artist conjured up Mindcraft energy, and the new adaption of the Speedy brought Canal Street attitude building the bridge between New York and Paris.

As models walked out to an original composition, beyond the pixelated aesthetic the style lexicon mirrored that Williams made up of workwear, indigo denim, pajama silhouettes, dandy cuts, and a contemporary approach to tailoring with a gender-fluid allure. Artworks by American artist Henry Taylor were featured as micro-embroideries on denim, tailoring, and accessories. The collection saw many debuts including a nubuck bowling shoe and a magnified calfskin Mary-Jane, if there was one trend that we can see picking up as of today, it’s the chunky sole. On the top we got goggle-like sunglasses, glamping hats, Damier crochet beanies, and a blocked flat cap making nods at DJ hats. It was an optimist collection, full of range, and intricate detailing.

As the finale approached we were treated to Voice of Joy performing with Pharrell on their joint track “Joy”, reminding us that joy is something we might find in fashion as fashion forces us to find ourselves, to explore who we are. Things weren’t finished after the last model left the runway. That contagious joy was shared with the city, at least anyone in hearing distance from la Samaritaine, as Jay-Z followed the runway show with an open-air performance making an early kick-off to the Fête de la Musique. Williams can generate synergies from multi-disciplines, as seen with his debut, Louis Vuitton has emerged from a zeitgeist traveler to a cultural brand with a Creative Director that had everyone in a standing ovation.

Check out the collection below: