PFWM SS25: Louis Vuitton

SINCE assuming the role of Creative Director at Louis Vuitton, Pharrell Williams has emphasised the communal aspects of leading a prestigious fashion house. While this approach is not unheard of, it is commendable when applied with the rigour Williams demonstrates.

At each of his shows since his debut, the team of craftspeople join Williams on the runway for his final bow. The subsequent press releases meticulously describe the construction and collaboration involved in the pre-production process. These press releases are notably extensive, comprising multiple pages, which we can assume is Williams’ tribute to the late Virgil Abloh, who became renowned during his tenure at the house of Louis Vuitton for his detailed, and lengthy, communication with editor and writer of the press releases, Anders Christian Madsen.

Williams’ broader outlook also informs the concepts for his collections, each taking an expansive approach to a core influence, incorporating themes that resonate with his diverse fanbase. His debut was inspired by the sun, his Pre-Fall 24 collection by the moon, and now, for Spring Summer 2025, Williams adopts a solar perspective, focusing on the Earth and its inhabitants. In an effort to foster connection, Williams explores the nuances of global mentality, questioning how such a diverse species can find unity in this era.

As guests arrived at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, even before delving into the detailed press release, the theme of unification was evident. Passing through security, we walked past the flags of the world, fluttering under the evening sun, symbolising the vastness of our planet. The caged globe at the centre of the runway was the next phase of this theme.

And the emphasis on music, a universal language, was the final component. The choice of venue, the rooftop of Le Maison de l’UNESCO, built in 1958 to promote global peace through culture, also cleverly ties into Louis Vuitton’s heritage of travel.

The diverse traveller serves as the archetype for Williams’ SS25 collection and the clothes become a canvas for his vision of unification. From the generic style of pilots and their flight suits to the more obscure football-inspired outfits reflecting the world’s most popular game, this travel-centric lens steers the ship for the entirety of the collection. The comfort-driven notion of a leisure traveller is echoed in the tracksuits and workwear, which prioritise comfort yet are refined in technical construction. incorporates various Louis Vuitton emblems, reinterpreting iconic symbols under Williams’ direction.

From afar, the colours seem subdued, with previous Louis Vuitton neon splashes replaced by a more muted take. This was intentional, offering a palette rendered in the nuances of skin tones of all the humans of the planet, and further underscored by the translucent fabrics that revealed the model’s skin beneath.

Accessories are infused by the tactility of skin too, with soft leather versions of bag icons such as the Alma, the Christopher and the Neverfull, usually made in canvas twill. The Danube, Nile, the Mazon and the Bastille bags are relaunched for SS25. Despite the new washes and materials applied to beloved models, there are many reminders of Williams’ highly anticipated first accessory design for the house.

The adaption of the famous Damier print into camouflage patterns was welcomed upon Williams’ arrival, and its transition into Snake-o-Flage for SS25 is a standout moment – but this only leaves us hungry for more of them. Where Williams truly excels, however, is with the music for his shows.

For this event, he produced three original pieces: “Triumph Cosmos” by Williams, “Birds Don’t Sing” by Clipse (feat. John Legend), and “Falling UP” by Adekunle Gold, Williams, and Nile Rodgers, performed by the Voices of Fire choir and L’Orchestre du Pont Neuf. The sensory effect was staggering, encasing every corner of the venue with a transformative energy that also extended to the models of the collection, each infused with an air of performance as they stomped down the grassy Damier printed runway. The guests struggled to remain seated, and I must admit, I had my Shazam app running continuously.

If three songs and masses of musicians was not enough, the collection also features an artistic exchange with the creative collective Air Afrique, which was founded in 2020 in Paris to support arts on the African continent through multimedia formats. The show’s cinematic prelude was directed by them and their collaboration can be seen on select logos and patterns within the collection.

While this expansive viewpoint is admirable, it remains to be seen how long Williams can sustain such a broad scope for his collections. Streamlined clothing that adheres to more specific boundaries might challenge Williams to define his unique vision for Louis Vuitton. There are only so many themes that can encompass a global perspective, and Williams is rapidly exploring them.

Nonetheless, the sheer volume of references, collaborations, and stylistic innovations he manages is undeniably impressive. His strong relationship with the design team is a testament to his remarkable ability to build and maintain a beloved presence in the world of fashion, music, and beyond.

by Lily Rimmer