Beyond the Hat: How Pharrell Went from Music to Fashion Icon
What’s left to say about Pharrell’s infamous giant brown hat at the GRAMMYs? His statement piece was just the latest in a string of style choices that have made Pharrell one of the biggest names in fashion today. It is no surprise that designers want to be musicians and musicians want to be designers. Pairing creative minds with enormous followings makes musicians ideal candidates to dictate what’s next when it comes to style.
Pharrell Williams is easily one of the most talented artists in the world. He has collaborated with the likes of Gwen Stefani, Kanye West, Britney Spears, Daft Punk and many more. But that’s not the only thing this well-liked lad is known for. He gets votes for being the best dressed dude on red carpets all the time. Back in 2005, Pharrell was inspired by Nigo, the Japanese fashion genius behind A Bathing Ape (BAPE). Pharrell said he saw Nigo do what he was doing but wanted to see it happen on grander scale. Pharrel partnered with Nigo to create two lines: Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream Footwear were born. BBC has also launch BGC, Billionaire Girls Club to make sure the ladies get some love too! Billionaire Boys Club has its flagship store in Soho, New York City and the official Ice Cream store is in Tokyo, Japan.
It’s no surprise that the BBC and BGC brands have been running successfully for almost ten years now. Without question, it comes down to the impeccable taste of the man behind the looks: Pharrell has always been a pioneer and creative genius. It seems like everything he touches turned gold. Most recently, Jay Z and Roc Apparel group partnered with Billionaire Boys Club/Ice Cream. According to WWD, “BBC and Ice Cream will do $25 million to $30 million in volume this year.” Gold just went platinum!
Through the success of BBC/Ice Cream and his personal fashion style Pharrell was able to meet and work with the best of the best in the fashion industry, one being the global fashion brand Louis Vuitton. Pharrell’s creativity is endless and ranges far outside of streetwear, so when he collaborated with Louis Vuitton back in 2004 –a time when hip-hop and the high-end fashion world weren’t as intertwined as today– we were excited. Together they released a high-end sunglasses collection and jewelry line.
Pharrell has also collaborated with the likes of Moncler, a French performance wear company, for a line of outerwear including a “bulletproof vest” that had people raving. Not familiar? Check out the Fall/Winter ‘13 collection on High Snobiety. Another one of his biggest collaborations saw the rapper pairing up with New York fashion designer Mark McNairy for Bee Line and BBC Black. Pharrell and McNairy married prep school style with boot camp silhouettes. When they dropped their first collection it was a match made in heaven.
Now you might be asking yourself, how does Pharrell keep coming up with great ideas? What keeps his creative juices flowing? Well if you haven’t read his recently published book Places and Spaces I’ve Been, that’s the place to gain some insight. The book explores the collaborations he’s worked on through music, fashion, art, and more. Of course the real story is about the people he’s encountered over his career who have inspired him.
In a recent interview with Complex Magazine, Pharrell stated, “The Universe is going to continue to evolve, and the ultimate feat in that experience is the perspective of awareness.” Pharrell’s inspiration seems universal through his personal style and clothing that he designs.
At the 2014 Grammys, Pharrell was one of the most talked about artists in attendance. Sure, getting on stage with Stevie Wonder and his robot friends (Daft Punk) made headlines, so did taking home one of the biggest awards of the night. Who besides Pharrell, though, could get more recognition for a statement accessory than anything else that happened during music’s biggest night. Makes you rethink your outfit of the day! No worries though. If it’s inspiration you seek check out this YouTube piece on Pharrell’s wisdom and advice on how he turned his dreams into realities.
Now let’s take you on a journey through collections BBC/Ice Cream has created throughout the years and the musicians who rocked them best.
1. Chris Brown in Bathing Ape
Chris Brown rocks Bathing Ape “Ape Shall Never Kill Ape” tee while performing (looking happy to be caught in it too).
2. Swizz Beatz In BBC
Swizz Beatz shows Pharrell and Nigo support by rocking a BBC tee at the BBC/Ice Cream flagship store opening in NYC. Style recognize style.
3. Beyoncé in Billionaire Girls Club
Beyoncé looking stunning in a simple sweatshirt on June 4th 2013 at the Manhattan hotspot 1 Oak. Probably because it’s not just any sweater, this is a Billionaire Girls Club sweater and it looks fierce! Bow down.
4. Big Sean in BBC
Big Sean attends Kelly Rowland’s listening party sporting a BBC Authentic logo Starter cap, BBC Perspective logo tee, and some killer chains to match.
March 10, 2014 via Pepsi