Pharrell Williams kicks off Paris Men’s Fashion Week with a ‘Wild, Wild West’-inspired Fall/Winter line

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From cowboy hats to bolo ties to a pixelated cow print, Pharrell Williams brought the American West to France with Louis Vuitton.

After a buzzy and star-studded Spring/Summer debut that took place on France’s Pont Neuf bridge last June, Pharrell Williams returned to open Paris Menswear Fall/Winter 2024 Fashion Week with Louis Vuitton’s next offerings.

This fall, the luxury label’s menswear is going west.

From the cacti-studded design of the runway to the fashions coming down it to the music and even some of the models, the “Yee-Haw Agenda” was alive and well on Williams’ runway. Through fringe, artisan-embroidered lassos, wide-brim hats, and lots of denim, Louis Vuitton’s upcoming menswear line seeks to respectfully uplift Native American culture while also celebrating the legacy of the Black cowboy.

“When you see cowboys portrayed, you see only a few versions,” Williams told reporters after the show, per Women’s Wear Daily. “You never really get to see what some of the original cowboys looked like. They looked like us. They looked like me. They looked Black. They looked Native American.”

Coincidentally, Williams said these words a day after Colorado celebrated its annual Bill Pickett Rodeo, which simultaneously honors the late Black cowboy Bill Pickett and Martin Luther King Jr.. We are also in the midst of a cultural moment that has been heavily focused on the early American West, including the success of “Yellowstone,” ”Killers of the Flower Moon,” “The Harder They Fall,” and CBS’ “Bass Reeves,” which introduced two cowboys, one Black and one Native American, to the cultural lexicon. Williams’s latest collection also debuts after legions of Beyoncé fans memorably spent the summer and early fall parading around in silver cowboy hats, emulating the megastar’s “Renaissance” styling.

Some critics are divided on whether Williams’ show verges into problematic territory encountered by brands like Dior, which came under fire for a 2019 ad campaign for its “Sauvage” fragrance featuring an Indigenous dancer. Others even questioned whether some looks in the collection might have “strayed dangerously close to Ralph Lauren territory.” However, the nuance here is the Pharrell Williams of it all — and perhaps the legitimacy of the Black American’s claim to the West.

Williams is from Virginia, a state and region deeply connected to its Native American heritage. He also employed the use of Indigenous artisans, Indigenous musicians, and Indigenous models. The depiction doesn’t prop up negative stereotypes but rather celebrates the Indigenous and Black people the aesthetic was often derived from.

According to Vogue, Louis Vuitton confirmed artists from the Dakota and Lakota tribes had a hand in the accessories, including the Western-embroidered scenes on a handful of the label’s iconic “Speedy” bags. The opening and closing music was co-composed by Williams and Lakota “Hokie” Clairmont and performed by the group Native Voices of Resistance, who, along with the models, joined Williams at the end for a bow. Lakota musician Gunner Jules was also among the models, as was rapper Pusha T.

Other notable faces spotted in the audience included Venus Williams, Chanel Iman and Davon Godchaux, Slim Thug, LaKeith Stanfield, Omar Sy, Quavo, Lil Yachty, Swae Lee, Dev Hynes, ASAP Ferg, ASAP Nast, Rauw Alejandro and more.

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By and large, the collection isn’t necessarily a reimaging of Western garb – in addition to cowboy hats, horseshoes, and bolo ties, there were even leather chaps – rather, the collection reaffirms who is “allowed” to wear it. However, a few of Williams’ innovations included the pixelated “Damoflage” from his debut collection, now reimagined as “Cowmooflage” and printed across trucker hats, trunks, and bags. Williams also debuted his highly anticipated collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Timberland; the classic 6-inch boots printed all over with Louis Vuitton’s brown and gold monogram logo were carried down the runway by a model.

“Telling your story and telling your people’s story as best you can, and doing it candidly and with love, that’s an overwhelming feeling to kind of pull it off, and it felt like we did,” Williams added when speaking to reporters about his second full collection as the head of Louis Vuitton’s Menswear. “Like the feeling in the room just felt like a whole lot of love. And that’s what the goal was, and I thank God that we got a chance to do that.”

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A model walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 16, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

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A model walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 16, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Louis Vuitton Paris Fashion Week – Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025

A model walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 16, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Louis Vuitton Paris Fashion Week – Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025

A model walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 16, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Louis Vuitton Paris Fashion Week – Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025

A model walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 16, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Louis Vuitton Paris Fashion Week – Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025

A model walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 16, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Louis Vuitton Paris Fashion Week – Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025

A model walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 16, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Louis Vuitton Paris Fashion Week – Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025

A model walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 16, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Louis Vuitton Paris Fashion Week – Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025

A model walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 16, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Louis Vuitton Paris Fashion Week – Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025

A model walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 16, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Louis Vuitton Paris Fashion Week – Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025

A model walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 16, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Louis Vuitton Paris Fashion Week – Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025

A model walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 16, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Louis Vuitton Paris Fashion Week – Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025

A model walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 16, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Louis Vuitton Paris Fashion Week – Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025

A model walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 16, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Louis Vuitton Paris Fashion Week – Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025

A model walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 16, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Louis Vuitton Paris Fashion Week – Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025

A model walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 16, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Louis Vuitton Paris Fashion Week – Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025

A model walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 16, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Louis Vuitton Paris Fashion Week – Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025

Pharrell Williams walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 16, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Louis Vuitton Paris Fashion Week – Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025

Pharrell Williams walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 16, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Louis Vuitton Paris Fashion Week – Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025

Venus Williams attends the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 16, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Victor Boyko/Getty Images for Louis Vuitton)


Kay Wicker is a lifestyle writer for theGrio covering health, wellness, travel, beauty, fashion, and the myriad ways Black people live and enjoy their lives. She has previously created content for magazines, newspapers, and digital brands. 

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