With his recently launched Adidas Tennis collaboration, the musician talks 70s swag and the importance of giving back to the community. Music legend and master of it all, Pharrell Williams needs little introduction. Most of the time, he doesn’t even need a last name. Although most recognised for his work in the music industry, his role as a multi-talented artistic savant has deeply entrenched him within the world of fashion as well. Aside from a long-standing partnership with adidas, he has modelled for Chanel, designed shades for Louis Vuitton, co-owns G-Star RAW and co-founded Billionaire Boys Club.
Over the weekend, he launched his newest collaboration with Adidas Originals for AW17. Just in time for the US Open, the tennis collection includes a line of men’s and women’s clothing and footwear. With the overall aesthetic harkening back to the 70s golden age of the sport – when players graced the courts with a certain ethereal grace and je ne sais quois – Pharrell lends his sophisticated-cool medley of swagger and style to the brand.
In conjunction with a New York City-wide campaign called ‘Don’t Be Quiet Please’, Pharrell’s launch includes a manifesto for social change and activism. With a partnership to establish a tennis scholarship for kids and a donation to the NYC Parks for a tennis court restoration, Pharrell has used the power of his platform as a vehicle for giving back to the community and “encouraging all to believe in their voices and be loud in inspiring change through love,” according to the official messaging. Here, DazedDigital.com talk to Pharrell about the inspiration for the collection, the political message he wanted to drive home, and because we had to ask, his skincare routine.
How did the collaboration with Adidas come about and why did you want to work on this specific project?
Pharrell: This happened because I wanted to do more in the sports and performance sector of Adidas’s business and I wanted to work with players. What excited me about tennis in the lexicon of its scoring system is the word ‘love.’ We need more of that right now. There’s so much oppression and repression in this country, for so many different groups of people. At any opportunity that I get to inject a message, hidden in it – not so surface, but hidden – then I’m going to jump on it. Working with tennis gives me such a sophisticated opportunity to push the word ‘love.’
An unreleased tune by Miley Cyrus titled ‘The Way I Feel’ just hit the net produced by Pharrell Williams featuring Tyler, The Creator. ‘The Way I Feel’ is a leftover from Miley Cyrus 2015 album ‘Bangerz’ and was later given to Jennifer Hudson, check out the little snippet below.
Miley Cyrus – The Way I Feel feat. Tyler, The Creator (Snippet) (15′)
The new G-Star FW17 Campaign, a diverse celebration of individuality starring superstar Pharrell alongside a bevy of some of the most exciting creatives in fashion. Pharrell Williams – musician, producer, and G-Star RAW’s co-owner and Head of Imagination – stars in the brand’s Fall/Winter 2017 campaign alongside a diverse and dynamic collective of creatives, including Adwoa Aboah, Jean Campbell and Lennon Gallagher.
More than just a campaign, the imagery and video sees some of the most talked-about stars of the moment showing how they wear the iconic G-Star Elwood in their own unique way. Captured by acclaimed artist/photographer Collier Schorr, the campaign shows Aboah, model, mental health advocate and founder of Gurls Talk, alongside her younger sister, Kesewa; fellow models Campbell, India Graham and Brooke Perry; Scottish actor and model Connor Newall, and Gallagher, model and son of Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher. The campaign was shot in New York.
“For this campaign we specifically chose outspoken individuals with their own sense of style. The energy that happened when this talented group of people came together was beautiful, what set them apart actually brought them together,” Pharrell Williams commented of the campaign shoot.
The music producer’s latest venture is designing tennis kit for the US Open – but, he tells Sophie Heawood, this is just the start. So there I am, gorging on yellowtail sashimi at Nobu in Malibu, waiting for Pharrell Williams to turn up for this interview, when his assistant arrives to tell me the good news — he’s outside! The bad news, though, is that he can’t come in, so she is going to drive me to her house (which turns out to be his house, a rented weekend retreat) where we will talk instead. Paparazzi? Sulking? Nerves? No. Apparently, Williams can’t leave his black SUV to enter the restaurant because he hasn’t eaten all day and the man is ravenous.
Leaving a restaurant because you’re hungry — it all makes perfect sense in Celebrityville. Not that I’m complaining. The house turns out to be a minimalist haven, with a wall of glass 80ft wide overlooking the Pacific Ocean and nothing else. On arrival I am asked to remove my shoes, so I plop my sandals into an outdoor basket beside a pair of multicoloured Adidas sneakers that say Pharrell Williams on the back. He is here! Barefoot, wearing a printed lilac T-shirt, baggy jeans and casual gold jewellery, the superstar musician and producer comes to greet me, noticeably polite. In fact, apart from the solid minute he spends deep in prayer to bless the big plate of Southern soul food brought by the chef (his head is down and his lips are moving), Williams doesn’t break eye contact for our entire conversation.
The new collection finds Pharrell stepping into the realm of tennis by creating a range of apparel, footwear, and accessories inspired by the sport’s golden era and drawing inspiration from the iconic players from the ‘70s. Check out the unique new collection in the images below. The Adidas Tennis Collection by Pharrell Williams will release on August 31, 2017.
The Pharrell Williams’ executive-produced “True & The Rainbow Kingdom” debuted exclusively on Netflix on Friday, August 11. “True & The Rainbow Kingdom: is a fun-filled CGI preschool series inspired by Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III’s FriendsWithYou, a fine art collective that fuses minimalism with the aesthetic of pop art, promoting “magic, luck and friendship.”
Showcased around the world, the artists work in a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, large-scale experiential installations, live performances, animation, and more recently, virtual reality. Williams signed on as executive producer once he watched the first episodes of the series as it embodies two passion areas for him. Williams has a long-standing relationship with fine art and the toy world.
Pharrell With Kelly Rowland
Whenever there’s a problem in the wondrous world of the Rainbow Kingdom, there’s one person everyone can count on to save the day… True! True & The Rainbow Kingdom follows an intelligent and fearless heroine, 8-year-old True, and her hilarious best friend Bartleby The Cat, as they solve problems in Rainbow City and come to the rescue of its whimsical citizens.
True is the only one that can unleash the power of the Magical Wishes from the Wishing Tree in order to restore peace and love in the Kingdom. True and Bartleby’s 22 minute adventures are packed with comedy that will delight and empower girls and boys around the world! This fun-filled CGI preschool series is produced by Guru Studio, in collaboration with Pharrell Williams’ i am OTHER, world-renowned artist collective, FriendsWithYou, and Home Plate Entertainment.
True & The Rainbow Kingdom (Trailer) (2017)
How many times have you been watching a Studio Session of The Neptunes working in the studio and felt a chill run up your spine? Or goosebumps tickle your arms and shoulders? The experience is called Frisson (pronounced free-sawn), a French term meaning “aesthetic chills,” and it feels like waves of pleasure running all over your skin. Some researchers have even dubbed it a “skin orgasm.”
Listening to emotionally moving music is the most common trigger of Frisson, but some feel it while looking at beautiful artwork, watching a particularly moving scene in a movie, or having physical contact with another person. Studies have shown that roughly two-thirds of the population feels frisson, and I remember watching that Studio Session of Pharrell with OverDoz. where they were working on ‘Last Kiss’ in 2015, and in the video you can clearly see how Pharrell really loves his job.
Those adlibs Pharrell is doing is exactly one of the reasons I fell in love with The Neptunes, that feeling is straight ‘Frisson’, there is no one like Pharrell. After getting the Original Instrumental to the song I already had the idea to put Pharrell’s Adlibs on top of it but never had the time, but It just felt right today and I’ve finally done it. This is one of my Favourite Pharrell beats ever, check it out below and let me know what you think !
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