Daniel Barabasi | Thursday, April 3, 2014
You might know him for his hit collaborations, but soon Pharrell Williams will have the world staying up all night for another reason: fashion, or more notably, his upcoming Adidas collection.
With the recent onslaught of normcore, Pharrell’s acceptance into the heavy hitters of the fashion community offers a necessary relief. His personal style is, as any wealthy artist, quite flashy, but his previous fashion endeavors show he understands wearability and that his customers don’t have the same weekly paycheck that he does.
Perhaps the most revealing moment of Pharrell’s recognition of clothing versatility is the “Arby’s” hat he wore to the Grammys. In perhaps one of the greatest public recognition of positive fashion (read: not nip-slips), the hat sparked a parody Twitter account and long analyses of its source and effect on fashion.
In truth, the hat comes from a 1982 Vivienne Westwood collection, named “Buffalo Girls (Nostalgia of Mud).” The collection, and the hat, was inspired by Malcolm McLaren and The World’s Famous Supreme Team’s “Buffalo Gals,” where b-boys rock not only the scandalous headwear, but also the red Adidas jacket Pharrell wore with it at The Grammys. Not only is the actual hat vintage, but it serves as Pharrell’s shoutout to the origins of his genre.
Furthermore, the Grammys weren’t the first time Pharrell rocked the extra appendage on his head. “GQ” tracked the hat all the way back to 2009, but he also sported it around town for weeks before people caught on at the music awards. He didn’t see the hat as many wealthy artists see clothing. While others might get a high-end suit or dress tailored for a single occasion, Pharrell throws on the hat and the red jacket, an outfit you could see him rocking on the street the next day.
Then, when the hubbub was dying down about his extreme hat, Pharrell popped up at the Oscars sporting a tuxedo — but with shorts. Instead of burning the retinas of the best actors around, Pharrell showed off his sculpted, tattooed calves and proved that risky menswear trends can indeed look great.
However, Pharrell’s interest in fashion did not suddenly emerge as he inched into the spotlight. In fact, in 2005 he started his own clothing lines with Nigo, “Billionaire Boys Club” and “ICECREAM.” The lines sell clothing that can be best described by simply looking at Pharrell’s outfits.
To build hype for his upcoming collection, Adidas has released a short promotional video where Pharrell (or someone with his hat) walks backwards in simplistic white and green Adidas Originals with “Inside Out,” “I Dunno” and “Backwards” written on them.
Unlike the Air Yeezys put out by Nike and Kanye West, the Adidas collaboration seems to take a less flashy approach. Like his hat and the shorts, Pharrell wants to stand out in the fashion arena while keeping his pieces wearable and sustainable.
The Adidas collection, and hopefully Pharrell’s numerous future collaborations, is a trend the fashion world can clap along to.