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Indie Designer Accuses Pharrell Of Stealing Her Idea For His Louis Vuitton Line

26 June 2023 | 1:57 pm | Jessie Lynch

Indie designer Kellie Ford claims that she repurposed the Louis Vuitton shopping bag into a purse in 2021 that resembled one featured in Pharrell's new Louis Vuitton line.

Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams (Matti Hillig)

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An independent designer has accused Pharrell Williamof stealing her concept for his leather Louis Vuitton shopping bag that debuted during his Louis Vuitton Menswear Spring-Summer 2024 show in Paris last week

On Thursday (June 22), designer Kellie Ford posted a series of videos to her TikTok page to slam the muso for allegedly stealing her idea for turning the Louis Vuitton paper shopping bag into a luxurious leather tote bag, which was unveiled in last week's LV show.

In her video, Ford explained in 2021 she repurposed the Louis Vuitton shopping bag into a purse. She posted a video of her creation and it went viral with over 10 million views, with legendary hip-hop designer Dapper Dan even commending Ford on her creation.

“Fast forward to 2023, and under Pharrell’s creative direction for Louis Vuitton they dropped what looks like is the bag. Yeah, its crazy.”

She went on to add: “It ain’t about suing, it ain’t about infringement. The thing is they took the concept…The concept is the same. The concept is, the bag being a normal paper bag being worn at leisure. That’s what they did. They took the concept of the bag….It’s the concept, not the actual bag itself.” 

While many followers empathised with the designer, others pointed out that her Louis Vuitton rework featured the bag covered in plastic, while LV's design was made from leather.

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“They made a leather version of their own shopping bag. They don’t wrap it in plastic,” one commenter noted. 

At the time of writing, neither Pharrell nor Louis Vuitton has responded to the accusations.

Back in February, the fashion giant revealed that Pharrell had stepped into the shoes of the late Virgil Abloh as its new men's creative director.

 "Pharrell Williams is a visionary whose creative universes expand from music to art, and to fashion -- establishing himself as a cultural global icon over the past twenty years," Louis Vuitton in an Instagram post revealing the news.

 "The way in which he breaks boundaries across the various worlds he explores, aligns with Louis Vuitton’s status as a Cultural Maison, reinforcing its values of innovation, pioneer spirit, and entrepreneurship."

Prior to the show, Williams sat down with WWD to reflect on his new position and referred to it “dream job.”

“Every day, I gotta pinch myself because it’s an appointment, and I was chosen,” Williams said of the position. “Pietro saw something, and I’m touched by that, and I honour that every day.”

He also hit back at critics who claimed he wasn't qualified to take on Louis Vuitton position by pointing to his decorated musical career.

“I didn’t go to Central Saint Martins, but I also didn’t go to Juilliard either in music, and I mean, we see how that turned out,”  Pharell said. 

“It’s cool. That’s a very fair observation. But neither did Vivienne Westwood, right? Tadao Ando was self-taught. I mean, he’s the GOAT, right? I only aspire to express myself.”