The Fashion Powerhouse That Is Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams has seven Grammy awards under his belt. He’s been nominated for an Oscar. Heck, your mother probably owns his latest album, G I R L. But the most interesting bout of success he’s experienced sets him apart from others who’ve also made a splash in showbiz, and brings him closer to the world of Vivienne Westwood (who designed his now-infamous fedora).
 Photo: Uniqlo
The unstoppable “Happy” singer is something of a force in the fashion industry, and he’s recently been tapped to help design a line of T-shirts and hats as part of Uniqlo’s UT collection, for which he’ll not only be a spokesperson, but a designer as well. The whole 2014 spring/summer collection will be known as “The New Model T,” and represents a “fresh start” for the brand, according to Uniqlo.

Williams’ involvement won’t entirely be a solo act. The line is in fact a collaboration that will have the full force of Williams’ i am OTHER creative collective behind it. As such, the products will include men’s and women’s T-shirts and caps featuring thought-provoking slogans in fresh, minimalist typography.

Skateboard P will be pictured in the brand’s spring print campaign as a model alongside Barbara Palvin, the famed Hungarian model and actress. He’s also recorded a commercial to promote the line that will include as yet unrevealed single from G I R L (that one should drop on Uniqlo’s website around the same time as the clothes, which is mid-April 2014).

Not that any of this is new to him, as this isn’t Williams’ first go at fashion.

Even more interesting is that Uniqlo’s T-shirt collection, originally launched in 2003, is the brainchild of none other than creative director Nigo—the former designer and founder of A Bathing Ape (BAPE) with whom Williams co-founded his first two fashion ventures, Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream Footwear.

In 2005, Pha-real started up Billionaire Boys Club with Nigo, a Japanese designer so iconic he only needs one name. BBC fan Jay Z (hyphenated at the time), who headed his own Rocawear apparel company in 1999, partnered with the fellas in 2011, and thus an empire was born. The lines both are known for their limited releases and luxury pricing—its rarity outside of Japan was put to an end when Williams opened his own BBC boutique store in New York City’s SoHo district. Ice Cream Footwear still only has one boutique in Tokyo.

Since, Willams has been sought out by brands such as Louis Vuitton (for a series of jewellery and glasses), Domeau & Peres (he collaborated with Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin to create some crazy furniture) and even Moncler (for a full-on fashion collab for 2013’s fall/winter season).

All this is to say that he’s not only becoming a top influence, but a regular face among the fashion elite. Long live P. Willy.


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