Today we present the first photo spread from our recent Highsnobiety Print Magazine Issue 5. Pharrell Williams is featured on the cover. The story was photographed by Berlin photographer Robert Wunsch. As it is our winter issue, we outfitted the rapper, producer, designer in some of the latest winter gear, including pieces from his very own Billionaire Boys Club Beeline Collection.
You can flip through the full issue online here.
Find here below the accompanying article from the magazine.
Pharrell Williams is a man who needs no introduction. Working as a rapper, singer, record producer, composer, and fashion designer, most of us know Pharrell as one-half of Grammyaward winning production duo The Neptunes, lead singer and drummer of N.E.R.D, and the founder of both the Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream clothing lines. Of course, he’s always making big moves, establishing new partnerships and exploring different passion projects, be it as ambitious as furniture (Domeau & Pérès), film (Yi Zhou) or alcohol (Qream).
While music production remains Pharrell Williams’ main livelihood – and he’s been staying busy on that side – he was recently brought on board by the Academy Awards as a music consultant. Sitting alongside legendary film composer Hans Zimmer, Williams is working to score the 84th Annual Academy Awards show.
Exciting beyond doubt, but Pharrell has a few others projects on the go that move beyond music and even fashion. As is true with any celebrated musician, Pharrell spends his time traveling to all sorts of interesting places, playing gigs and meeting inspiring, visionary people. Chronicling this experience, Williams has partnered with publishing house Rizzoli on his first book: ‘Pharrell: Places and Spaces I’ve Been.’ The travel book features conversations between Pharell and people who have moved him, including: Anna Wintour, Nigo, Buzz Aldrin, Takashi Murakami, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Hans Zimmer and others. The remainder of the book contains photos covering most of Pharrell’s career. When asked about the coffee table book, Pharrell told us: “It was my first time working on a book. It was more learning than anything else. The content is just life, times and experiences with other people I think are interesting.” The book will release October 16, 2012.
Not one to sit on the sidelines, Pharrell Williams is also exploring new media with an entertainment group called ‘i am OTHER.’ The recently launched platform promises to produce new and existing music, film, television, apparel, tech and multimedia. So far, we’ve seen a number of programs on i am OTHER’s YouTube channel that explore individuality and celebrate creative pursuits of all kinds. Current i am OTHER shows include segments with cult sensation ‘Awkward Black Girl,’ Canadian music legend Nardwuar the Human Serviette and a weekly State of the Union address from Pharrell himself. When asked about idea behind the project, Pharrell told us: “i am OTHER is basically a creative hub for the young D.I.Y.’s. Those who “Do It Yourself”.” You can watch the current i am OTHER shows on YouTube.
Of course, Pharrell is also still making moves in the fashion world. Following some recent restructuring at BBC/Ice Cream, Pharrell has found himself working with celebrated American menswear designer Mark McNairy on a new higher-end Billionaire Boys Club capsule collection known as “Bee Line.” The collection of luxury gear was born out of a conversation Williams and McNairy had about a possible boot collaboration, and from there they ended up designing an entire collection of head-totoe looks that includes colorful wing tip boots, collaborative down vests and jackets by Crescent Down Works, New Era caps and general apparel that blends McNairy’s tailoring with BBC logo work. It’s said that the Bee logo itself was inspired by Napolean, who once replaced the French royal symbol of the fleur-de-li with
the buzzing insect.
We asked Pharrell about how the Bee line will help shape the direction of the brand and he told us: “The Bee Line is a separate portion of the BBC story. It’s where the forces of Mark’s talent and my ambition come together to do something good and exclusive.” The full Bee line is made in the USA, except for a small selection of sweaters woven in Scotland.
Of the mainline BBC collection, for which Jay-Z is now a partner, Pharrell promises to “bring you more interesting stories and themes” going forward. One of these stories is an all-new female Billionaire Boys Club offshoot, called, quite simply, Billionaire Girls Club or BGC. They’ve already released a small capsule of Billionaire Girls Club graphic tees and tank tops for Spring/Summer 2012, but a full collection is expected by mid-2013.
Between the ‘Pharrell: Places and Spaces I’ve Been’ book, the ‘i am OTHER’ YouTube channel, Billionaire Boys Club ‘Bee’ Line and Billionaire Girls Club collections, there’s plenty to look forward to in the world of Pharrell Williams.
Photography: Robert Wunsch / ohlsson.de
Words: Peter Williams
Landscape Photography: Robert Westrich
Photo Assistant: Jeanette Schneider
Digital Operator: Anna Dilthey
Styling: Beagy Zielinski / wilhelmina.com
Special FX Make Up: Sonja Roberts
Artwork & Post-Production: Recom
- Photography: Robert Wunsch/Highsnobiety.com