Paris Fashion Week: Louis Vuitton opens the show with star designer Pharrell Williams
Paris is back to the hustle and bustle of pre-Covid Fashion Weeks. Judging by the packed Men's Week, which runs from June 20 to 25, with catwalk shows, presentations, special events, parties and countless parallel shows. Headlining the show on Tuesday evening is the very first runway by Pharrell Williams, head of menswear at Louis Vuitton. The Week will come to a close on Sunday with Ludovic de Saint Sernin's show, before Jacquemus presents his show the following day on June 26, in Versailles.
The Louis Vuitton show is the main attraction of this Parisian week dedicated to the men's collections for spring-summer 2024, which is expected to attract a host of celebrities drawn by the American pop star. It's also a crucial first step for CEO Pietro Beccari, who took over the reins of the company earlier this year. For the occasion, the star house of the LVMH luxury group has commandeered no less than the Pont Neuf, with its breathtaking view over the Seine and the Ile de la Cité! Enough to make the show an unforgettable event. And for once, Louis Vuitton has positioned itself on the first day of the shows, Tuesday June 20.
There are no clues as to the direction the singer intends to take the Louis Vuitton man, except to say that the palette will be flamboyant, judging by the emblematic Speedy bag in red, green and yellow, which appeared in the first campaign image posted by the label, with Rihanna as the unexpected face of menswear. The buzz created around Pharrell Williams is growing all the more as the multi-talented artist, who took over from Virgil Abloh in February, is multiplying his projects with other brands during this Fashion Week.
With Adidas, he has set up a pop-up café in The Broken Arm boutique, based around the Samba Humanrace sneaker. And he has just launched an auction with Sarah Andelman, the former founder of the Colette concept store, entitled Just Phriends, in which he is offering for sale, via his own Joopiter auction house, an exceptional collection of archives and works of art from Takashi Murakami to Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, which will be on show in Paris throughout the week. Last but not least, a dinner to celebrate twenty years of the Billionaire Boys Club brand, which he founded with Nigo.
This first highlight of Paris Fashion Week should not overshadow the rest of the programme, which promises to be just as intense, bringing together a total of 80 labels with 38 presentations and 42 fashion shows - up from 47 last January - plus the collective show by graduates of the IFM (Institut Français de la Mode) on June 20.
Two new names are joining the catwalk programme: Burc Akyol and Koché. The former, a finalist in this year's LVMH Prize, will make his catwalk debut on Tuesday, June 20. The son of a Turkish tailor, he studied at the Institut Français de la Mode before starting to work for fashion labels. He has worked in the studios of Dior, Balenciaga and Ungaro, and in 2019 founded his own house of demi-couture for men and women. As for Christelle Kocher, who didn't take to the catwalk at the last Women's Fashion Week in order to switch to the men's calendar, she will be unveiling her collection on Friday 24.
Alongside them, all the big names will be present, from Dior and Hermès to Givenchy, Loewe and Kenzo, as well as high-profile brands such as AMI, Marine Serre and Lemaire, and up-and-coming labels Botter, Hed Mayner, Grace Wales Bonner, Bluemarble and EgonLab, to name but a few. With the exception of Saint Laurent, which has just shown in Berlin, and Maison Margiela, which is making its return to Women's Week this season.
Other notable absentees include Casablanca, which is in the process of reorganising through a new shareholder structure. Also missing from the line-up were Britain's Bianca Saunders and Chinese brand Sankuanz, who opted for a presentation, Kurdish-born designer Dilan Lurr's Namacheko label, and American menswear house Bode, which, after showing for the first and only time in Paris last January, has returned to New York.
Nevertheless, the City of Light continues to attract young designers, with four new names joining the programme of presentations. 4SDesigns, a label made in Italy by Salvadorian-born New York designer Angelo Urrutia, the Japanese brand Bed J.W. Ford by stylist Shinpei Yamagishi, as well as Nigerian Adeju Thompson of Lagos Programme, who has just won the Woolmark 2023 Prize, and the French brand C.R.E.O.L.E (Conscience Relative à l'Émancipation Outrepassant les Entraves) by Vincent Frédéric-Colombo. The latter two will be presenting their collection in the Sphère showroom, operated by the Fédération de la haute couture et de la mode (FHCM) with the support of Defi, alongside Arturo Obegero, Christoph Rumpf, Jeanne Friot, Ponder.er and Valette Studio.
Last but not least, Paris Fashion Week will be punctuated by a series of evenings and after-shows, organised by Kenzo, Louboutin, Acne Studios, Bluemarbel and Highsnobiety, which is celebrating the fifth edition of its Not in Paris pop-up. Then there are the unmissable social events, such as the inauguration of the Valentino boutique on avenue Montaigne. One thing is certain, there will be plenty of people in Paris that week.
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