Pharrell Unveils All-Inclusive Louis Vuitton Collection at Paris Olympics Showcase


In the light of the impending Paris Olympics, esteemed fashion house Louis Vuitton unfurled a spectacular menswear display at the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris. An array of models donning attire across the human color spectrum lent vitality to the fashion showcase set amidst a mammoth globe on a green checkerboard reminiscent of Vuitton’s trademark Damier design, knitting together a picturesque tableau of human diversity.

The vibrant show, introduced by acclaimed menswear designer and musician Pharrell Williams, was an adoring tribute to humanity. It was a global traverse, complemented by the contrasting silhouette of the Eiffel Tower and a colossal globe decked out like a shell. Pharrell explained that the collection’s color palette progressed through all human skin shades, culminating from black and dark brown to light brown, beige, a touch of gray, and finally to white.

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Drawing from the creativity of the diaspora symbolized by the Air Afrique airline, the collection was a medley of checks in a variety of blues, greens, and blacks. Pharrell collaborated with artists such as Lamine Diaoune and Djiby Kebe to intertwine a thread of global unison throughout the collection.

The acclaimed designer put forth various archetypes, teasing out the concept of the U.N. as a cultural hub teeming with ambassadors from across the world. The diplomat was rendered in the profound hues of ’70s tailoring, while the explorer was wrapped in robust yet chic outerwear, including practical jackets and vests. The collection’s pièce de résistance was the dandy, who strutted down the checkerboard runway and owned the spotlight in rhinestone-encrusted and pearl-adorned outerwear.

The collection, unfolding against the fluctuating backdrop of skies and international flags, mirrored the diversity of models featuring skin tones that shifted from dark to light. The apparel advanced the theme of unity with designs including pixelated python skin patterns and African-centered world map caricatures. A reinterpretation of the Damier pattern with pale brown checks accented with lively colors and soccer-inspired leather designs, this splendid assemblage was an acknowledgement to the world’s favorite sport.

The assembly resonated with a captivating complexity yet maintained an air of simplicity, reflective of the diaspora’s richness. Embossed Louis Vuitton logos and enamel maps embedded in buttons added to the collection’s subtle details while aged leather trims and oversized monogram patterns on soft leather designs bore testament to vintage fashion.

The fashion presentation was as much about the spectacle as it was about the clothes, signifying the current fashion trend. A-list stars such as Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender applauded the display. Amidst a convoluted world, Pharrell expressed his hopes for the fashion show to echo a peaceful message, admitting that promoting peace through a poetic lens was their ultimate goal.

Meanwhile, the Japanese designer Nigo launched a culturally-rich and vibrant collection for Kenzo, drawing inspiration from late founder Kenzo Takada and Rousseau’s paintings. Fashionistas reveled in eccentric shows featuring cuddly stuffed tigers, neon hoods, and metallic net bags. Despite the eccentricity, persistent doubts about the coherence between funk and finesse seemed to overshadow his innovation.

As the luxury industry grapples with questions of diversity and racism, Pharrell’s standing ovation for Nigo was notably poignant.

Advancing the thread of the digitally-focused, multicultural fashion landscape, British-Jamaican designer Bianca Saunders offered a collection inspired by boho thespians on a brick runway. Saunders’ innovative use of textures and commitment to sustainability marked her place in the fashion industry.

Finally, Undercover’s Spring collection merged the mystical and modern, with designer Jun Takahashi presenting a spectacle of contrasts. In bold silhouettes, distressed garments, and veils, Takahashi showcased a striking fusion of the avant-garde and wearable.