Pharrell Williams comes from the school of multi talented successful black Americans musicians of his generations. A singer, rapper, record producer and composer as well a fashion designer, Pharrell has proven he’s a blinding success and passionate individual.
Along with friend Chad Hugo the musician they make up the record producing duo The Neptunes, who’s funky urban beats focus on hip hop and R&B and together with childhood friend Shay Haley, they complete the hip-hop-funk band N.E.R.D with Pharrell as the lead vocalist and drummer.
More recently Pharrell helped make up the band Child Rebel Soldier, but N.E.R.D put him on the map and made him a key player on the modern music scene releasing their debut single “Frontin” in 2003 and album “In My Life” in 2006. Along with the great and good of the genre (Jay-Z and Kanye West to name a few) he changed the face of pop-culture at the turn on the century. Money, sex, confidence and self worth along with relaxed cool and bling became the new world order and Pharrell’s young fresh face and handsome naughty puppy like looks helped prove him unstoppable.
But as far as icons go, in the style stakes Pharrell may not be an obvious choice. However, there is a lot to be said for flawlessly pulling off the perfectly put together ‘street’ look with ease. He has proved an icon of many young men who want to emulate ‘effortless cool’ which, if done correctly is seamless and by all account Pharrell has it down to a tee.
On the whole like another of our Style Icons, Kanye West, Pharrell has matured in his own tastes. From the baggy jeans and XXL crisp white t-shirts when hip-hop was at an all time high a few years ago to a now more discerning and formal wardrobe – the modern American gent – Pharrell seems to have mastered a style and taste of his own.
What gives Pharrell’s street-chic style its edge is the attention to detail and focus on bold colours and patterns. His use of layering and accessories like scarves, hats (baseball and trilby) and bandanas don’t distract form his looks, but enhance it giving a fresh depth and creativity to his style.
These stylised tweaks only add to the creativity of his music and ooze a confidence and charm that makes him stand out of the every day guy pimped up in hip-hop street style fashion that today often looks dated and out of touch. Partly what makes Pharrell so successful as an icon is how accessible his style is. Easily mimicked and translated into your own sort of ‘street wear’ it’s all about looking cool, relaxed and comfortable in your own skin. Saying that, he’s mastered dapper formal dress too proving a true icon is comfortable and effortless in anything. It’s the confidence and the ability to be able to construct a meticulously put together outfit that’s key.
This creativity and flair for fashion is evident in Pharrell’s own work as a fashion designer. Teaming up with the Japanese design craftsman Nigo, founder of The Bathing Ape/Bape brands Pharrell produced two lines of clothing called Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream in 2005 which have gone from strength to strength, even gaining cult following in the US and British markets.
In 2005 Pharrell was voted the Best Dressed Male by Esquire magazine cementing his credibility and confidence as a force to be reckoned with.