How Pharrell Williams Became a Fashion Icon

Fashion and music have been deeply intertwined for a long time. In fact, many fashion sub-genres that exist today have been born out of popular culture, and no movement better exemplifies this relationship other than streetwear. A standout figure in streetwear is Hiroshi Fujiwara, a Japanese musician and fashion designer (also known as the godfather of streetwear!). In an interview with HYPEBEAST and Strategy&, Fujiwara, who shaped the early Japanese street fashion scene, explained that skate culture breathed life into streetwear, which eventually paved the way for a modern streetwear movement built upon hip-hop and sneaker culture.

Pharrell Williams and his creative genius is a prime example of how hip-hop influences fashion culture. He is widely celebrated for creating the distinct R&B sound that is heard today (he co-wrote Drop It Like It’s Hot!). If that wasn’t enough, his production credits have appeared in countless hits, including Frank Ocean’s “Pink + White” from his iconic 2016 album, Blonde (basically, whatever he touches turns into gold).

Not only is Pharrell a grammy-winning artist and producer, but he is also a fashion icon. In fact, Pharrell is known to have heavily contributed to the diverse gender-fluid streetwear landscape that we know today. In an interview with WWD, a world-renowned fashion magazine, Pharrell vocalized his love for unisex garments, stating that he enjoyed wearing women’s clothes early on in his career.

Pharrell looking cool in shades (Source: Adidas).

Pharrell’s talent was even recognized by the late Karl Lagerfeld, a legendary fashion designer who served as Chanel’s creative director for over 30 years, earning him an exclusive collaboration with the luxury fashion powerhouse. In 2015, he became the first ever celebrity to work on a line with Chanel. Most recently, Pharrell has been pursuing creative projects with Adidas, most notably the “adidas Originals = Pharrell Williams” line, in which he demonstrates his love for colour, energy, and diversity.

If you followed Pharrell throughout his musical career, you’d notice one thing: he always stayed true to his creative vision. At the end of the day, he invested in what he enjoyed as a musician and stayed away from trends. This is also reflected in what he chooses to wear. If anything, Pharrell is an artistic trendsetter. Without his prominence as both a musician and fashion icon, it’d be hard to say that other similar artists like Kanye West and his fashion projects would be as successful as they are today. Really, Pharrell Williams is the pinnacle of cool.

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