Paris, June 2023 – In his first campaign for LOUIS VUITTON , Pharrell Williams presents his vision for the maison through the new Speedy bag: an adaptation of the famous bag model, realized in a campaign with Rihanna, photographed by Keizō Kitajima and Martine Syms. The campaign comes just days after his debut show and builds on the previous foundations of the men’s creative director’s work at LOUIS VUITTON.
It represents the combination of two icons: a luxury bag embodied by an artist with an extraordinary personal appeal. The campaign was styled by Cynthia Lu and Matthew Henson, both longtime collaborators with Pharrell Williams. Ahead of the show, a teaser of the campaign graced the facade of the Musée d’Orsay.
The new Speedy was inspired by the urban hub that inspired Pharrell Williams’ early interest in luxury: Canal Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City; a cultural crossroads animated by a diverse energy and a mentality of hustle and bustle that finds expression in the streets of the world’s metropolises. The new Speedy is an evolution of the classic Speedy – one of the first bags owned by Pharrell Williams – and conjures a visual language with the Maison’s unique savoir-faire that evokes the stylistic characteristics of Canal Street.
The campaign serves as a complement to Pharrell Williams’ creative direction at the Ready-to-Wear Studio for men’s collections. The imagery is a creative product that Pharrell Williams created to further develop LOUIS VUITTON’s existing heritage.
Embodied by the heavily pregnant Rihanna – a symbol of the power of nature – the men’s campaign reflects the recontextualization at the core of Pharrell Williams’ approach to the Maison. Infused with a real-life sensibility, the new Speedy retains the bag’s trapezoidal lines but appears in supple grained calfskin lined with lambskin.
The soft construction allows the bottom of the bag to collapse and deform as it does with daily use. The screen-printed monogram creates a blurred, handcrafted and almost hand-painted effect.
About the Speedy bag model:
The classic leather Speedy, designed by Gaston-Louis Vuitton in 1930 and originally named Express, was born out of the enthusiasm for speed and cars at the time. In 1959, it was reissued in Monogram Canvas, which increased its appeal for everyday wear and attracted the attention of celebrities like Audrey Hepburn, who requested a smaller version of the Speedy in 1965. This miniature design helped it achieve iconic status. For nearly a century, the Speedy has been the subject of numerous artistic interpretations and remains a LOUIS VUITTON landmark.