Photography: Pierre Mouton for Louis Vuitton

Wizkid is a motivational speaker. Talking to me over the phone from a hotel room in Paris as he prepares to attend his first Louis Vuitton runway show, the Nigerian hitmaker (EssenceGingerEnergy [Stay Far Away]) punctuates our exchange with phrases indistinguishable from those that adorn my dad’s Facebook wall:

“Nothing is too far out of reach.”

“If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”

“There’s nothing you can’t do in life.”

Positive manifestation is one of the many parallels that can be drawn between the Nigerian hitmaker and Pharrell Williams, the men’s creative director of the French Maison. (Case in point: the musician-cum-designer has titled the LV Men’s SS25 collection Le Monde Est À Vous [The World is Yours]. To emphasise the message, he fixed on the UNESCO HQ as the location.) Other similarities between the luminaries include a mesmeric singing voice, a knack for music production, an eye for international rising talents and a flair for style.

Photography: Pierre Mouton for Louis Vuitton

For the Paris Fashion Week moment, Williams and Co. have provided Wiz with one of the freshest looks from the pre-SS25 collection, comprising a V-neck Fair Isle jumper, a pair of tailored shorts and a very nice shirt. He makes it his own by swapping out the collegiate tie seen in the lookbook for an ivory one, and the preppy loafers for some white sneakers.

Who or what can be credited for his singular sense of style? “TV and magazines,” he answers. “Also, I grew up with sisters in the house.” A whopping twelve, to be exact.

Photography courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Another similarity between Wiz and Williams: they’re family-orientated. Both are in the fashion capital with their respective families. “I’m trying to raise champions,” Wiz remarks about his children. “I instil that into their minds […] that God has put them here on purpose.”

Photography: Pierre Mouton for Louis Vuitton

And with his upcoming album, he pays the utmost respect to his mother. “I’ve named it my mum’s name,” he says – his mother’s name being ‘Morayo’, a Yoruba word that means ‘I see joy’.

“It’s very important for people to know where the source of my magic comes from. I’m African, I’m Nigerian; that’s my blood, that’s my DNA. So, it’s important for me to push [Yoruba] out there – let people know about my culture. I like to know about everyone else’s culture, their way of life, and this is mine.”

Photography: Pierre Mouton for Louis Vuitton

He’s been listening to the unreleased record whilst gearing up for the show. “It’s very, very personal,” he reveals. “I hope it lifts spirits and spreads positive energy.”

Naturally, I inquire about guest features. He leaves me with this: “We’re meant to collaborate – that’s the essence of humans. We’re here to work together.”

Now, tell me that isn’t a Pharrell-ism.

This story originally appeared on Esquire UK


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