Meet Kellie Ford, a self-taught black fashion designer who recently accused Pharrell Williams and Louis Vuitton of ripping off her designs.
The charge came after Williams showed Louis Vuitton’s new SS24 collection in Paris as the brand’s new menswear creative director.
She claimed in a series of Tik Tok videos that one of her original designs was copied and integrated into Pharell’s new collection.
Ford also states that her original LV shopping bag design was placed into plastic and transformed into a beautiful handbag. In a subsequent video, the fashion designer stated that, despite her allegations, she will not sue Pharrell or LV, stating that she is more concerned with the “concept” she claims they stole from her.
“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,” Ford said, according to Black Enterprise.
She believes her original concept is what added “the sauce” LV supposedly “took” and added to their new menswear collection.
In February of this year, Pharrell was named creative director of Louis Vuitton menswear, a post formerly held by Virgil Abloh, who died in November 2021, marking the singer and record producer the French luxury house’s second black creative director.
In a statement announcing his hiring, Louis Vuitton praised Pharrell as a “visionary whose creative universes extend from music to art to fashion.” The way he breaks through barriers in the numerous areas he investigates is consistent with Louis Vuitton’s reputation as a cultural Maison, reaffirming the Maison’s principles of invention, pioneer spirit, and entrepreneurship.”