Pharrell Williams' Millionaire Speedy Bag – Can Loud Luxury be sustainable?

 The Millionaire Speedy Bag - in the debate about Quiet Luxury and Logomania it raises questions about sustainability

Loud luxury

Author: House of Eden

  • Creative Director Pharrell Williams designed the first 1 Million Speedy Bag for Louis Vuitton
  • The bag is said to be worth one million euros and is made, among other things, from crocodile leather
  • In times of Quiet Luxury she is criticized for the Logomania style

Since Pharrell Williams became a fashion designer for Louis Vuitton, his collection has been one of the most sought-after of the season. In June, the singer and designer impressed with his debut show in Paris, with the Millionaire Speedy Bag standing out as a standout highlight. The Louis Vuitton bag got its name because it is reportedly worth one million euros.

Where does the original Louis Vuitton Speedy come from?

The original Louis Vuitton Speedy Bag was first introduced as a women's travel bag in 1930 under the name "Express" and was later renamed "Speedy". The bag became a cult object thanks to iconic wearers such as Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn. Over the years, various models of the logo-printed classic were added. Made from what is probably Louis Vuitton's most famous material: canvas. A vinyl-soaked cotton fabric, which is then printed with the respective pattern.

Louis Vuitton Original Speedy

Source & Copyright by Louis Vuitton

The Millionaire Speedy Bag - Pharrell Williams' interpretation

As an influential personality in the entertainment industry, Pharrell Williams dared to succeed Virgil Abloh as creative director of the world's most successful luxury group. The unveiling of his debut took place at Paris Fashion Week with his first collection for Spring/Summer 2024. What particularly caused a stir was the golden yellow Millionaire Speedy Bag, which Pharrell himself constantly carried with him. The bag not only represents a new interpretation of the traditional classic, but also suggests a change in direction for the brand.

The exclusivity of this bag is manifested not only in the design itself, but also in the elaborate manufacturing process. Each bag is handcrafted exclusively to pre-order. Crocodile leather forms a central part of the material and the padlock is set with VVS pavé diamonds. The bag received criticism in particular in an open letter from the PETA Senior VP Lisa Lange, who addressed Pharrell Williams personally and questioned the relevance and innovation of his collection.

Outlook: Will sustainability be displaced by loud luxury?

At a time when the luxury fashion industry is moving away from logomania Quiet luxury The Millionaire Speedy Bag by Pharrell Williams sets an example against this development. However, this move back to emphasizing brand names and logos rather than classic, timeless designs is controversial.

Back in 2004, Pharrel launched the “Millionaires Sunglasses” in collaboration with Marc Jacobs, with the aim of making the luxury house accessible to a wider audience. The style was intended to bridge the gap between the luxury industry and the hip-hop scene's growing penchant for opulent, eye-catching drops. Williams' description of the glasses back then - "one part Tony Montana, one part The Notorious BIG" - sets the tone again today.

The question remains whether these decadent models of glasses or bags will remain relevant in the long term and whether such PR will send the right signals in today's fashion industry. Criticism regarding sustainability and the use of crocodile skin is already being voiced by other animal protection organizations on social media. While some see the flashy logomania as contemporary, others see it as a step away from important values. The debate about the future of this extravagant design will undoubtedly continue, as will discussions about sustainability and ethics.

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