While boot sales have remained soft this winter, Pharrell Williams reminded us all that a classic cold weather shoe is essential this time of year — with a runway show dominated by the silhouette.
Coincidentally coinciding with the first measurable snowfall in New York City in over 700 days, Williams’ snow-filled fall/winter 2024 Louis Vuitton men’s collection aptly highlighted next season’s boot offering.
More from Footwear News
The star shoes of the show came with the grand reveal of Louis Vuitton’s new collaboration with Timberland. First teased last week on social media by Williams, the collection features the classic American work boots reinterpreted through the creative lens of Louis Vuitton and the savoir-faire of its Italian factories.
Highlights include a classic industrial boot is proposed in wheat-colored or black waterproof scrivante nubuck, debossed with the maison’s monogram, also echoed on the back of the tongue. The boot likewise appears in pebble nubuck and super-grained buffalo nubuck versions.
The same details expand into a silhouette 15 percent larger than the classic. The collaboration features three pull-on boots set on XL soles in wheat or black scrivante nubuck or pebble nubuck with Louis Vuitton bag pullers or brown leather ankle cuffs. A hook-laced work boot is set on an XL sole and adorned with a Monogram ankle cuff and a side zip.
Finally, a highly limited-edition of the design is crafted with eyelets and tongue pendants featuring the LV monogram in genuine gold, and carried in monogram canvas and plexiglass shoe trunks.
Speaking about the collaboration with Timberland backstage after the show with FN sister publication WWD, Williams said the team up “just makes sense” given the brand’s roots in the hip-hop community. “It’s something that we love, but at the same time, whether you’re, like, in the ‘hood or you’re like somewhere in a factory, Timberlands, they last long,” Williams said. “If you’re going to spend your disposable income at a time like this, it needs to be for something that’s actually really going to last.”
Aside from the Timberland collab, Williams leaned into the Western theme of his fall ’24 show with a range of cowboy boots inspired by the work boots of the American west. Created alongside the expert Western bootmaker Goodyear in Texas and finished at Vuitton’s Rochambeau Ranch factory, the new LV Texan is an authentic cowboy boot that features stitch and appliqué decorations that blend Louis Vuitton’s iconography with that of the American West.
The LV Rodeo cowboy shoe materializes as a harnessed lace-up and a cowboy-belt buckled monk shoe. And, a streamlined round-toe Western boot, the LV Rider, appears in croc, python, ostrich, suede and cow hair.
Other shoe highlights this season also includes the LV Footprint slipper with its paw-embossed sole takes on a new furry manifestation. The materials of the collections are applied to high and low versions of the LV Snow boot and the LV Maxi Trainer. The collection also debuts a new technical rubber boot in the Damoflage pattern with a checkered sole.
This season is Williams’ third collection for Louis Vuitton men’s following his appointment early last year. After planting his brand codes last season, including a big push on the Speedy and a new pixelated pattern dubbed Damoflage, Williams set about exploring the seemingly endless capabilities of the Vuitton ateliers with Western-inflected pieces that were showcases for high-end craftsmanship.
The show was bookended with a performance by the Native Voices of Resistance, a group comprised of singers from Native American nations across North America.
“I felt like when you see cowboys portrayed, you see only a few versions,” Williams told WWD backstage. “You never really get to see what some of the original cowboys really look like. They look like us, they look like me. They look Black, they look Native American.”
“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 — 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,” he added.
Launch Gallery: Louis Vuitton Fall Winter 2024 Men‘s Collection, Photos
Best of Footwear News