Pharrell said carrying a child is “beyond anything a man can give back to the universe” ‘I’m in awe of my wife’: Pharrell Williams has spoken out about how fatherhood has changed him — and why he feels a “responsibility to the universe” to help new stars. The artist and producer, who will be 45 next month, has four children with his wife, model and designer Helen Lasichanh, 37.
She had their first son, Rocket, in 2008 and gave birth to triplets in January last year. Williams told ES Magazine: “I’m in awe of women and my wife. To carry another heartbeat inside your body for nine months — in my wife’s case she had four heartbeats — is beyond anything a man can give back to the universe. “To give life. That’s something that has changed me, just the infinite amount of respect and gratitude I’m blessed with.”
The premise of this project is about looking to the future. What made you sign up?
When my agent Trey brought this proposal to me, I immediately started thinking about it. It falls in line with where I am and the kind of things I want to do with my life and my music. I was fascinated by its larger-than-life consideration. I realised that A) I’m not going to be here in 2117 to see what happens; B) The people causing this tumult will all be gone; C) I may as well write a postcard to them now, about how they are ruining it, instead of making it a boring call-to-action song. This project is actually very metaphorical. But life and music—and bringing the two together is what we do.
Tell us a little about ‘100 Years’. How do you ensure it’s relevant a century later?
Well, the thing is how much do we listen to music created a 100 years ago? If I knew where music would be headed even in ten years, then heck, I would play PowerBall! But yes, the song is super sarcastic. I wanted to call out all the pseudo scientists who don’t really seem to care about the ecosystem. It’s 106F in Los Angeles right now—that’s just crazy. So when you listen to it later you’ll see that it’s like a postcard saying, “Man, you really did it this time,” and then the second half of it is just me being angry and not holding anything back. I wanted to fight fire with fire.
A whole new generation will, hopefully, get to listen to this tune. What’s your advice for the children of the future?
Interestingly, I don’t think the next generation needs a message. They care about others, they are a part of the sharing economy, where it’s for the greater good. They don’t need to own a car—they’ll use Uber or Lyft. They don’t need to buy a big house—they’ll use Airbnb. The older generations were sold a version of the American Dream—picket fence, house, car—but these kids don’t follow those rules. They have a different appreciation, and they are conscious of having a more positive carbon footprint. The kids get it!
You are the
first man to front
a Chanel bag campaign and you’ve brought the house together with Adidas. What responsibility
do you think the fashion industry has towards sustainability?
I’m not a fashion icon, I’m just a grateful participant. I think anyone who is making anything should be responsible to the ecosystem. We’re headed to Mars but all seven billion people cannot afford to go; in fact, I don’t even think the numbers would be 100 million. So as it stands, at least in this generation or lifetime, there’s only one place, and the only destination we have is this.
How do you live responsibly?
I’m not a tree hugger or a granola kind of guy—I may eat an acai bowl for breakfast but that’s as far as I get! But on a more serious note, I try to do as much as I can. I am grateful for my relationship with my living space and I try to respect it, be vigilant and responsible. That’s all we can expect from people.
I have to ask you about ‘Happy’—it made you the poster child for a sentiment.
I think I’m a perpetual optimist. I happen to believe in the positive aspects of humanity, and there is such a thing called order, even when things are chaotic—there is cause and effect. Like it or not, we have a solar system, and as long as there’s universal order we’ll be okay.
So what makes you really happy?
Self-awareness—the relationship with my creator, the universe, my family, and my work, that’s what makes me happy. Not having self-awareness, that’s hell; not knowing, not being able to decide why things are the way they are, that’s the centre of confusion.
Finally, your dream collaboration?
A Wes Anderson collaboration wouldn’t be bad!
GQ: Which was the first pair of trainers you ever bought?
Pharrell Williams: I am not making this up but golden adidas Laker low top Instincts. I was 16 and worked a whole summer at McDonald’s to buy those shoes on sale.
How does your style evolve as you get older?
Every three to six months, the silhouette changes but there’s a staple piece in the mix. Sometimes I say I’d never wear something again and then a designer makes a version of that piece and I’m back to wearing it.
Your favourite designers?
It’s a long list. Comme des Garçons. Nigo from Japanese label Human Made. Demna Gvasalia. Hedi Slimane is really talented. Phoebe Philo is a genius. Chitose Abe from Sacai is amazing. I love what Moncler do – one of my first collabs was with them. And, of course, Chanel.
What does style mean to you?
Style is essentially the by-product of what you are thinking and what you are feeling. You express yourself every time you put on something. Even if it’s the same thing every day.
How long do you take to get ready?
20 minutes but it takes longer in the shower for me. I’m a long shower guy. But I also ideate in the shower. My showers are more cerebral and imaginative than they are about cleansing. Cleansing is like the last five minutes.
What sparked the new collection?
We’re always trying to use our platform to give volume and visibility to different voices from different cultures and their aesthetic. You know? I thought if I’m the face of a brand, why not make humanity the face. Exploring different people from different places, from different diasporas. And so Holi was an amazing opportunity to make that happen. For me, people from Africa, which is all different colours and people from India, which is all different colours, are the most beautiful in the world.
Justin Timberlake talks his new album ‘Man Of The Woods‘, his long career in music, tour plans and adapting to life as a father.
Pharrell Williams Says He Would Only Act In a Wes Anderson Film. Every so often, just when you thought the zeitgeist might have passed him by, Pharrell Williams has a new move. Since first arriving on the scene to dominate pop in the early aughts—at some crazy moment in 2003, over 40 percent of the songs on the radio were estimated to have been produced by The Neptunes, Williams’s production team with Chad Hugo—Williams has remained in the spotlight for over two decades with his fashion choices (the streetwear lines, the countless collaborations, The Hat) and his on-air persona hosting The Voice and, most of all, his music.
Whether it was helping Daft Punk take over an entire summer (and countless weddings thereafter) with “Get Lucky” or fashioning himself as a kind of ubiquitous Peter Pan with “Happy,” the ageless Williams is still reinventing what he sounds like (even if he looks the same as he did when we first met him). This week, in fact, will see the release of the first album since 2005 by N.E.R.D., the groundbreaking group of Williams, Hugo, and Shae Haley, and No_One Ever Really Dies, featuring Rihanna on the lead single “Lemon,” promises to be like nothing else you’ve heard from them. Here, Williams tells W editor at large Lynn Hirschberg where he gets his next great idea, and why he wants to act—but only in a Wes Anderson film.
In an interview with WWD, Williams said he expected the Chanel sneakers could go for up to $40,000 on the resale market, noting that the recent Adidas collaboration with his collective N.E.R.D. — released exclusively at the ComplexCon — was already being offered for $10,000. But he was philosophical about the sneaker craze. “At the end of the day, they’re just shoes,” he mused.
The resale value of the Adidas Originals NMD Hu shoe shot up to $32,000 after some 120,000 people pre-registered on the web site chanelatcolette.fr for the opportunity to buy one of the 500 pairs — make that 499 — on sale, according to Sarah Andelman, creative director and purchasing manager at Colette. “Officially, it’s the first time to my knowledge that the Chanel name has appeared on a product made by another brand, so it’s true that this makes it something very special,” she said. Pharrell sat down with WWD to discuss quantum physics, sneakermania and why the future is female.
WWD: You’ve done absolutely everything with Chanel. Did it feel like designing product was the missing link in your relationship with the brand?
Pharrell Williams: You could say that it was, but I didn’t think that. I just was happy to try it, you know. I’ve been honored to just work with them as long as we have, doing all the different things that we have, and to have them jump out the window and do sneakers with me was so cool.
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