A Short Convo With… Pharrell

When it comes to natural swagger and innate style, there are few who  can compete with Pharrell. The award-winning entertainer with more hyphens on his business card than a European royal has always had a distinct sense of style—from when he was a kid rocking Vans instead of Jordans to collaborating on jewelry for Louis Vuitton. With the help of A Bathing Ape’s Nigo, Pharrell brought his trademark hood hipster style worldwide. VIBE talks fashion and outer space with the one and only.


VIBE: What do you have planned for the Spring Collection for Billionaire Boys Club?
Pharell: We have a new pair of vintage wash selvage Japanese denim jeans. I really love the color of them. They have the motor oil rinse in them. They all have a rougher and dirtier look to them; we aren’t doing anything too raw or too stiff.

I saw a picture of you wearing the new Louis Vuitton sneakers for the Spring 2010 collection. What’s your opinion on those?
I love those sneakers. I think Christian Louboutin is a genius. He is aware, he knows his world and he seldom makes mistakes in my opinion. Usually that is a sign of someone who is very improvisational; at the drop of a dime they know how to bail themselves out of any situation. Sometimes a problem ends up being the most unique gift. He is one person that is very good at that.

How involved are you in the creative development for BBC? What does your day-to-day involvement include? And how do you come up with your inspirations?
Well, the inspiration for the collection is done at least three or four months in advance. Every season my inspiration comes from movies, experiences, traveling to different states or cities and conversations with people. It’s really just everyday life; basically it’s just a reflection of different things that I’ve been thinking. Nigo also has his ideas and sometimes we will edit each other’s work. It’s definitely collaboration between Nigo and me.

Where did your style inspiration come from growing up?
When I was growing up I just always dreamed of what it would be like to have it. I never really had it like that. You know? Like my other friends was rocking Jordans and I was in Vans. Even though I liked my Vans, I just always wondered what that was like.

Which city do you think has a better style, New York or Tokyo?
I think that both are very interesting. New York is like a mixture of different worlds, themes, and concepts. It’s really individuality because it’s so much going on. The tempo of life there in New York is so fast. You really only have time to do what is most important to you. I think that New York has so many colorful people with different kinds of backgrounds because it specialized with so many cultures.

While the majority of the population in Tokyo is Japanese, it has changed and now it’s mixed with different cultures and backgrounds, so they bring those things there, they wear it and they live it.

Would you consider BBC a celebrity clothing line?
I don’t know. I’m not really….I don’t really consider myself a celebrity. I think it’s an unhealthy delusion.

It’s different if someone like Lauren Conrad from the MTV reality show, The Hills just puts her name on a clothing line; you are more involved than that right?
Yeah. Like I mentioned, I’m involved in collecting a lot of inspiration. I failed to mention that I send lots of pictures and sketches to be used as well.

I was looking at the Spring Collection for BBC and I saw a lot of Miami or Cape Canaveral spaceships. What’s your interest or fascination with outer space?
There is so much out there. I’m just really inspired by the vastness of space and how there is so much possibility out there. It’s so much science and so much mathematics out there. It’s just so much that we can learn. I just feel like we all look up for inspiration. I guess it sounds crazy but when you look up at those stars you just see that it’s so much there. It’s like…damn what else can’t I do here?

So in a sense you’re a dreamer?
Oh yeah, man, I am definitely a dreamer. It’s all up to you. —Adrien Field