The Chanel show during Paris Fashion Week was astronomical. Literally. The French couture house had a custom space station that emerged from its threshold as models fearlessly stood in the most vintage yet avant-garde looks. Chanel continues to set the fashion bar high, by featuring Pharrell Williams in its the first-ever male handbag campaign.
Although the brand is most known for women’s garments and doesn’t have an official men’s line, Chanel does drop some gems for men every now and again. Williams walked in its most recent Métiers d’Art show at the Ritz Paris.
According to Women’s Wear Daily, in the brand’s ad, Williams is depicted in a concert hall toting a crocodile version of the new Gabrielle bag, which the house hopes could rival its classic 2.55 and 11.12 models.
Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s head designer and creative director since 1983, affectionately refers to Williams as apart of the “Chanel family.”
Scheduled to launch worldwide on April 3, the ads also features Kristen Stewart, Cara Delevingne and Caroline de Maigret, each exuding a different allure — insouciant, streetwise and quintessentially Parisian, respectively, according to WWD.
Lagerfeld said he wished to show that the Gabrielle bag can be worn in “many different circumstances” — and why not by a man?
Although Williams is notably known for his fashion sense, he revealed that not to always be the case.
“I was like a nerdy little black kid on a skateboard. So looking at high-end fashion was something that I really didn’t understand in the very beginning,” he told WWD. “And then I realized, slowly but surely, man, this is amazing. And although there’s mostly the perception that it’s for women, I just started to see, OK, as a man I can wear some of this. So I would wear sunglasses here, or a jacket there.”
As Williams maneuvered his way through the fashion industry meeting various heavy hitters, many opportunities were presented to him.
“It’s crazy. Who knew if you just follow what it is that you’re curious about, it may make sense for you one day — and in a major, major way. I just never dreamt that I would ever be considered in this way, and given all these opportunities,” he said.
In addition to his historic campaign ad while in Paris, Williams also relieved the Officiers des Arts et Lettres medal for his significant contributions to the arts.