The multi-hyphenate musician has a lesser-known empire in the design world. Over the course of a career that spans nearly three decades, Pharrell Williams—the ageless mastermind behind such chart-topping hits as “Happy” and “Blurred Lines“—has managed to secure a spot in the exclusive no-last-name-required celebrity club. And while he’s predominantly recognized for his success in the music industry, the 43-year-old Williams is something of a design connoisseur:
He’s created jewelry for Louis Vuitton, collaborated on an Art Basel–showcased piece with Takashi Murakami, and designed furniture alongside Domeau & Pérès; he also owns a museum-worthy collection of contemporary sculptures, paintings, and statues that would make Pop Art admirers weak in the knees. But it’s Williams’s streetwear-centric clothing label, Billionaire Boys Club, that’s been his primary focus of late. The brand recently unveiled a shiny new flagship in downtown Manhattan—designed by Brooklyn-based firm Snarkitecture—where shoppers can browse through a curated selection from Williams’s own line, in addition to brands like Adidas and Kanye West’s label, Yeezy.
Though Williams insists he left most of the store’s creative direction to Snarkitecture cofounder Daniel Arsham, the Grammy winner’s stamp is decidedly present. Vibrant, Murakami-designed cushions sit beside racks of neutral-hued clothing, and quirky sculptures by the artist KAWS are scattered throughout. Here, Williams chats with AD about the concept behind the flagship, his most meaningful design purchase, and the man he turns to for artistic inspiration.
Pharrell was speaking on the red carpet at the Latin Grammys, where he performed Safari with J Balvin, BIA and Sky. Pharrell Williams was a vocal campaigner for Hillary Clinton, performing at a rally for her just days before the election. Now Donald Trump is the president-elect, the music superstar has given his verdict.
Photos by Miller Mobley. Songwriter Roundtable: Justin Timberlake, Sting, Alicia Keys and More Hitmakers on Gender Bias, Trump’s “Hitler-Level” Rhetoric and Fears of a “Divided States Of America” The artists behind songs in this season’s movies — also including Tori Amos, John Legend and Pharrell Williams — join THR’s first-ever Songwriter Roundtable discussion to reveal the feeling of “blacking out” (in a good way), the freedom of not wearing makeup and their concerns for a post-election America.
Tori Amos, Pharrell Williams, Alicia Keys, Sting, Justin Timberlake & John Legend
Gather six of Hollywood’s top singer-songwriters and what you get, not surprisingly, is more like a symphony than an ordinary conversation. Each of the celebrated artists on THR’s first-ever Songwriter Roundtable — Alicia Keys, 35 (who composed “Back To Life” for Queen Of Katwe); Justin Timberlake, 35 (“Can’t Stop The Feeling!” for Trolls, in which he also stars); Tori Amos, 53 (“Flicker” for Audrie & Daisy); previous Oscar nominees Sting, 65 (“The Empty Chair” for Jim: The James Foley Story), and Pharrell Williams, 43 (“I See A Victory” for Hidden Figures, which he also produced); and 2015 Oscar winner John Legend, 37 (“Start A Fire” for La La Land) — has a unique voice that came through loud and clear as they shared their artistic and political passions.
On Nov. 7, the day before the election, they all were hopeful for a Hillary Clinton victory and concerned about the bruising campaign. “It’s dangerous for us to be complacent” in the face of Trump’s divisive rhetoric, Legend said. But he also noted this group’s place in fighting that complacency. “Part of the power of art and music is that we are able to transcend those boundaries.”
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