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influencers: Pharrell Williams

4:57 PM


This installment of my MOLIMU Influencers series is about one of the most creative and respected  guys in today’s music and fashion scene: Pharrell Williams. 
Williams, who started out as a hip hop producer, has become a cultural phenomenon because he is willing to push boundaries and never hesitates to try venture out into new fields and directions. The label “music producer” is therefore not really fitting anymore because he is that much more these days. 

As designer of his fashion labels “Billionaire Boys Club”, “Ice Cream” and his collaboration with Mark McNairy  “Bee Line” have become staples in the fashion industry because of their bold and colorful designs that serve as a connection between elevated fashion and streetwear designs.  He was voted as one of the most stylish men in the world on numerous occasions and has been able to mix street influenced pieces with high fashion. This has landed him first row seats at some of the most prestigious fashion shows as well as editorial gigs Vogue. He has served as brand ambassador for Luis Vuitton and is one of the few individuals that can kick off trends just because people pay attention to everything he wears. Currently he has been wearing customized Timberland boots  which influenced an increase in Timberland boots on the street right away. Another example would be the trend of wearing flannel shirts around your waist which was inspired by the late 90s Grunge look and is copied by rappers and models all over the place at the moment.

Next to fashion he has made quite the name for himself in the art world. As a collector he sports one of the most impressive collections of contemporary art such as large Kaws pictures or pieces by Takashi Murakami.  Both artists have emerged extremely fast and Pharrell supported them quite early.  By now he has designed multiple art pieces himself and has collaborated on furniture as well. 

One of his newest ventures is an Internet video platform called “OTHERS” which consists of multiple shows that cover an extensive range of subjects. From DIY to comedy to lifestyle talks and fashion, Williams has created genre-specific shows that are pretty entertaining. He was even able to include the fantastic Nardwuar into the network who is now interviewing artists for the OTHERS network in his typical weird but extremely informative way. 

Finally he is and always was one of the greatest producers and musicians of the our time. He has been able to create genre-bending music for quite some time now and has collaborated with some of the greatest artists in music. I still remember how I stumbled upon the first album from his band N*E*R*D and bought it without even really knowing what type of music it was. To this day, the album is one of my favorites and I haven’t really found any other band that was able to create a connection between rap and rock music in such an appealing way. His production has shaped the modern music scene  and I am sure that some of the music that is so popular today wouldn’t have been able without Pharrell Williams breaking musical barriers.

I was always inspired by his funny and somewhat strange persona because he has always kept a nearly childish enthusiasm while becoming increasingly insightful and wise.  I think that this was also the key for his success: he has always believed in the artists he worked with and has supported talent which eventually earned him both respect and a reputation as being “in-the-know”.

Without the  creative genius of Pharrell Williams my iTunes library would probably be half as big and life would have been less-colorful, therefore I think he deserves a big “Thank You”.

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