This is interesting. The New York Times just ran a profile on Pharrell Williams, shadowing the eccentric musician/producer/designer as he went about his business. That business includes running his Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream clothing lines, suggesting that making an audio book version of memoir “could create a wave,” toying with the idea of making dog leashes and trying to figure out new ways to flip Timberlands, among other errands.
But one particularly, and probably unintentionally, hilarious portion of the profile involves the N.E.R.D. rapper/singer trying on some new, Olde English friendly BBC gear.
At Roc Apparel, on the 39th floor of a garment center building, a half-dozen designers and sales executives were reviewing prototypes of the spring 2013 Billionaire Boys Club collection, which includes some experimental pieces that, resting on a hanger, looked less than appealing. Mr. Williams took off his black Tims, covered with his own hand-drawings of the Chanel logo on the right boot and toe bones on the left, and his red flannel shirt and his shorts and his T-shirt (all by B.B.C. on this occasion), stripping all the way down to a pair of camouflage print boxers and red socks. He tried on a pair of oversize jeans with ridiculously oversize patch pockets on both the front and back. The idea was for each pocket to be just big enough to hold a 40. A bottle of Olde English 800 was procured.
“You see, this is a denim story, and we are actually offering function to clubgoers,” Mr. Williams said, affixing a crystal-covered carabiner and a half-dozen fishing lures to a belt loop.
Skepticism about the jeans seemed to evaporate. They looked fabulous.
“He puts it on and everything works out,” Mr. Villepontoux said. “I don’t think he’s ever had a 40 in his entire life. I don’t think he’s even had a sip of beer.”
Say what now? Even the well regarded Mark McNairy—who is in cahoots with Williams and created the Bee Line for Billionaire Boys Club collection, which was recently profiled in GQ, together—gave the 40 rocking denim the co-sign.
The Times story duly makes note of the possibility of Williams **gasp** selling out, in not so many words.
When you watch Mr. Williams work, it is not unreasonable to wonder if he is spreading himself too thin, or even putting the value of the Pharrell brand at risk of overexposure. Riding to the offices of his clothing collections in a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, which is basically a luxury van outfitted with an office, a minibar and a rec room, he dismissed such a notion.
“I am overly ambitious, because I realize it can be done,” he said. “I don’t want to end up being a circus act, doing my most famous tricks when I’m 70.”
We still want to know, though, who is still drinking 40s?
Photo: Rizzoli/NY Times