In 2005 Pharrell Williams was voted ‘Best Dressed Man in the World.’ This week, on 7 March 2017, he stole the Chanel runway show at Paris Fashion Week. The day before, on 6 March, Williams received the L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (The Order of Arts and Letters).
American artist and singer-songwriter, Pharrel Lanscilo Williams (1973-) is well-known for his first single in 2003, Frontin’, and his hugely successful single Happy (featured in the movie Despicable Me 2), which received a 2014 Best Original Song Oscar nomination at the Academy Awards. But it is his idiosyncratic and sophisticated fashion sense that makes him a stand-out in any crowd.
At this year’s 89th Academy Awards, held on 27 February 2017, he was nominated in the Best Picture category as one of the producers of the movie Hidden Figures. Williams arrived at the Oscars in a stunning Chanel suit.
While he regularly wears Chanel and walks the runway for Chanel, Williams has his own apparel and textiles lines. In 2005, Williams partnered with Japanese fashion icon Nigo to create and launch the streetwear brands Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream footwear. Billionaire Boys Club has a flagship store in SoHo, New York, and Ice Cream has a store in Tokyo, Japan, as well as a presence in several global retail stores. Williams and Nigo have also launched the Billionaire Girls Club.
In 2008, Williams co-designed a series of jewelry (“Blason”) and glasses for Luis Vuitton. He has also worked on furniture designs with Emmanuel Perrotin and a French manufacturer, Domeau & Pérès. In 2009, Williams unveiled a collaborative sculpture with Takashi Murakami at Art Basel. In May 2011, Williams served as Creative Director of Karmaloop TV with founder and CEO Greg Selkoe and Katie McEnroe.
In 2013, Williams created a line of sunglasses for Moncier, and in 2014 he commenced a long-term partnership with Adidas. In th same year, Williams collaborated with G-Star Raw and his textile company Bionic Yarn to design a collection of denim made from recycled plastic that is found in the ocean. Further collaborations have developed over the years.
In addition, Williams owns a non-profit organization (NGO) called “From One Hand To AnOTHER” (FOHTA). FOHTA is an educational foundation with a mission to “change the world one kid at a time by giving them the tools and resources to meet their unique potential”. FOHTA’s vision is to modernize the community center concept by empowering youth, from 7-20 years of age in at-risk communities throughout America, to learn through new technologies, arts, media and motivation, according to its website.
Williams married his longtime girlfriend, model/designer Helen Lasichanh, in 2013. They have a son, Rocket Williams, born in 2008, and in January 2017, they had triplets.
Photograph: Pharrell Williams at the 2017 Academy Awards, 27 February 2017