Pharrell Williams LV hits stores: What does China think?

    Pharrell Williams' Louis Vuitton Spring 2024 menswear collection has finally hit stores with multisensory retail concepts. Will his superstar fanbase translate into blockbuster sales?
    Louis Vuitton Spring 2024 has officially hit stores in over 50 spots all over the world. Photo: Louis Vuitton
      Published   in Fashion

    What happened

    On Thursday, January 4, Pharrell Williams' debut Louis Vuitton collection arrived in stores worldwide, hitting over 50 locations.

    From the Plaza Indonesia store, to West Hollywood, Seoul, London, Paris, and New York, the major launch marks the creative director’s debut with the French luxury house. It’s the first opportunity to see how popular his designs are among consumers.

    A room of the WeHo pop-up. Photo: Louis Vuitton
    A room of the WeHo pop-up. Photo: Louis Vuitton

    Following the late Virgil Abloh, Williams' Louis Vuitton Spring 2024 menswear collection was showcased on the French capital's Pont Neuf bridge back in June 2023, soundtracked by melodies produced by the music artist himself.

    Each multisensory retail installation traveling the globe to present the inaugural collection takes inspiration from that pivotal show, from the store soundtracks to the sculptures.

    The Lovers collection arrives at London's Selfridges. Photo: Selfridges
    The Lovers collection arrives at London's Selfridges. Photo: Selfridges

    The pop-ups in New York and Los Angeles, for example, feature Parisian street lamp miniatures and city architecture, while showcasing mannequins that emulate the runway where the collection debuted. Over in Selfridges, London, there are 3D cubes which make up the Pont Neuf and shoppers can walk underneath a bridge to the show soundtrack. Elsewhere in Seoul, shoppers are greeted by a mini cart that's from the actual show, featured at a pop-up reminiscent of the Paris store on 100 Avenue des Champs-Élysées.

    The Jing Take

    Since June 2023 when the collection debuted, Louis Vuitton has powered full throttle into marketing Williams’ designs, right up until it hit stores. December saw an impressive inflatable sculpture of the new iteration of the House’s Speedy handbag journey along Shanghai’s Huangpu River, to name one notable move.

    On Weibo, posts incorporating the hashtag #LVAutumnWinter24Menswear Show have 3.416million reads. Over on Xiaohongshu, the hashtag under Pharrell’s Chinese name “​​菲董” has 13.5million views, with most recent posts referencing positive feedback to the Lovers collection. The newly-introduced pixelated monogram which spreads across each take has instantly made the Spring 2024 menswear line instantly-distinguishable, which is ultimately the aim of many new creative directors.

    Whether or not conversation equates to direct sales is yet to be revealed, particularly as most of the response among netizens has been people ogling the meteoric price tags. In the Lovers collection, some designs boast six-figure price tags, including the Made To Order Crocodile Baseball Jacket at $201,000, Cropede Crorocide $161,000, Pear-Embroidered Damier Coat and Malle Courrier pieces — all of which have been trending over the past couple of weeks.

    The real viral moment of the fortnight, though, has to be how Williams rocked up to the Louis Vuitton store in Miami in a Tesla Cybertruck that he had trouble trying to parallel park.

    View post on Instagram

    Undeniably, the star’s existing fanbase has ensured this first collection has lifted off and broken through internet-noise, despite being launched amid men’s fashion month. Yet the real value of such will be revealed when the LVMH-owned house releases its earnings later this year.

    The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.

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