Pharrell Williams and his partners from BBC Miami have repurchased Iconix Brands Group Inc.’s 50 percent interest in BBC Ice Cream LLC, owner of the Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream streetwear brands. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
An Iconix spokeswoman acknowledged the ownership shift and said, “The sale of our interest in BBC and Ice Cream was a strategic decision to rationalize smaller noncore assets in the Iconix portfolio, allowing us to focus our time and resources on the larger cash flow generating brands. BBC and Ice Cream represented less than 1 percent of our total business.”
Iconix has been struggling to regain its balance. The company has until June to complete a refinancing of a $300 million debt obligation and is also the subject of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Former chief executive officer Neil Cole left the company in August and Peter Cuneo, a board member, became Iconix’s chairman and interim ceo. This is a chance for a fresh start for Williams with the brands.
The music producer, performer, songwriter and designer has been active in the fashion business since 2004, when he launched footwear under a short-lived collaboration with Reebok. Apparel followed a year later, and Williams has gone on to partner with Louis Vuitton for jewelry and eyewear, Moynat for leather goods, Timberland for boots, Comme Des Garçons for fragrance, sunglasses for Moncler and footwear for Adidas.
He received the Fashion Icon Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2015, and was recently awarded Footwear News’ first Collaboration of the Year award for his hookup with Timberland on the Bionic Yarn Bee Line x Timberland Honeycomb Boot. According to Williams’ spokeswoman, the musician and his partners sought the opportunity to reacquire full control of the brands to continue their expansion, growth and licensing opportunities.
BBC is sold in boutiques and department stores globally and has flagships in New York City, London and Tokyo. Next up on Williams’ fashion front: a collection with Happy Sock, which will be available exclusively at Neiman Marcus in April. In addition to his fashion and music projects, Williams is a judge on NBC’s “The Voice” and is the artist-in-residence at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He also runs a charity for at-risk youth, From One Hand to Another, which he founded in 2008.