Let us take a moment to appreciate the legend that is Pharrell. Before the Travis Scotts, the A$AP Rockys, or the Kanye Wests of the world, there was Pharrell Williams. Much of what he has done for the fashion community and the music community has gone unnoticed. Many praise Kanye for integrating rap and fashion, but this notion is heavily misguided; it was Pharrell who integrated the two. It was Pharrell who synchronized a rapper’s music, style, and aesthetic, all into one.
Pharrell’s venture into the fashion realm began when he met BAPE (A Bathing Ape) founder and fashion icon, Nigo. Pharrell spoke in length about the first time the two of them met on his OTHERtone podcast on Apple Music. After meeting through a mutual friend and jeweler, the two hit it off, leading to a budding relationship that would manifest itself in joint ventures for years to come. Pharrell, famous for his colorful chains, or “Fruit Loop” chains, credits his vibrant and eccentric style to his relationship with Nigo. This friendship eventually led to the creation of the iconic brand Billionaire Boys Club.
The creation of this brand came soon after the release of his album, “Clones”, which Pharrell produced and wrote while part of The Neptunes, a group formed between him and childhood friend, Chad Hugo. This album, much like BAPE and BBC, was both unique and revolutionary. Pharrell and his producing partner, Chad Hugo, were able to put together an album that was both experimental and far ahead of its time—in both style, tone, and lyrical content. Mirroring this was the sudden rise in popularity of both BBC and BAPE. It had soon become commonplace for artists to not only mimic the production style of The Neptunes, but artists themselves started to dress in garb previously unique only to Pharrell. Soon enough, artists such as Kanye West and Kid Cudi, along with their committed followers, were representing the Japanese streetwear brand.
Much of the reason why rappers and other musical artists today have such a large stake in fashion is because of Pharrell. Artists like Kanye may have never been given opportunities like the one he currently holds with Adidas and his YEEZY line had it not been for Pharrell. In the modern day realm of music and fashion, Pharrell still continues to make waves.
Although Pharrell has now taken a backseat in music, he still continues to play a key role in the careers of young artists, like Travis Scott, Tyler the Creator, or A$AP Rocky. In the fashion world, Pharrell has given rise to an assortment of brands such as Cactus Plant Flea Market (CPFM) and Human Made. Whatever lane Pharrell takes, he continues to have an immeasurable impact in both music and fashion; no matter how under-appreciated and subtle it may be, his core base of fans could never thank him enough.