A couple of months ago, the news broke that Pharrell Williams, a longtime Chanel collaborator, would do something no other man has done for the brand. Today, we got the first look, courtesy of WWD, of the singer-songwriter/producer’s first handbag campaign with the iconic French fashion house.
Williams is the first man to ever wear a handbag—specifically the new Gabrielle bag—in a Chanel campaign, and the images do send a message, whether explicitly or not, about the inclusivity of fashion. With many other fashion brands taking a gender-bending approach to runway casting (Gucci, J.W.Anderson, and Marc Jacobs) and mass retailers launching unisex collections (H&M and Zara), it feels timely that Williams break down a gender stereotype in his new project. According to WWD, the artist also says that this campaign is not the first time he’s appreciated and worn items that were not specifically marketed for a man: “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. 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.”
Williams is not the only face of the Gabrielle style. He’ll be joined by Kristen Stewart, Cara Delevingne, and Caroline de Maigret when the campaign officially debuts on April 3.
In the meantime, take a look at the stereotype-defying image below.
What do you think of Chanel’s unique handbag campaign? Tell us your thoughts below, and then shop a timeless gender-neutral trend: sneakers.