When it comes to charismatic, trend setting men in the world of fashion, who also happen to be genuinely endearing, Pharrell Williams tops the list. Which is why we're so thrilled that Pharrell will receive the Fashion Icon Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, June 1st, during the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards. That's right, Pharrell is the new Rihanna. And whether or not he'll follow up his acceptance with a Swarovski crystal embellished gown to match his crystal kicks is anyone's guess (probably not), but there's no doubt that his ensemble will be equally iconic.
In terms of fashion, Pharrell has long been recognized for his classic, yet playful style. He's never been one to shy from adopting novel ensembles for events, and has probably done more to popularize the hat than any one fashion figure in the past few decades. Of course, he doesn't just support the leading fashion designers of the world, Pharrell actually is one. Pharrell, and co-founder Nigo, created Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream, two influential street wear lines that consist of sweatshirts, t-shirts, knits, denim, suits, and outerwear. Not to mention a wide variety of stylish shoes, underwear, and accessories.
Pharrell's lines reflect nonchalant finesse and a certain penchant for bold, pop culture-influenced pieces. It seems he's always a step ahead of the fashion curve, without being so outlandish in his experiments that he becomes unrelatable. That being said, if you're still wondering just how legitimate Pharrell's claim to fashion iconography is, here are seven times he proved himself in the sartorial world:
1. i am OTHER
Launching the i am OTHER creative collective in 2012 was a huge move. The collective's YouTube channel, described as a realm dedicated to "Thinkers, Innovators, and Outcasts," boasts well over a million subscribers (just over 1.4 million, to be more precise) and features playlists focused on style, art, fashion, and music. Pharrell's continuing quest to embrace all things strange goes to show that he understands how intrinsically tied one's sense of uniqueness is to creating iconography. And with i am OTHER, Pharrell encourages emerging designers and fashion forward thinkers to celebrate their weird.
2. Chanel Film
Directed by Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel's short film Reincarnation features Pharrell in fully fabulous period-inspired fashion. He and Cara Delevingne create couture magic with the help of Coco Chanel in this whimsical piece as they step into their dual roles as the faces for Chanel's 2014/2015 Métiers d'art collection.
3. Crystal Kicks
If I have to choose just one iconic fashion piece from the vast array of Pharrell's hit list, it's gotta be his Swarovski crystal shoes. They are simply mesmerizing, and it takes a truly fashion forward man to rock a pair of shoes that sparkle so sweetly. That being said, Swarovski doesn't work with just anyone, so these shoes are perfect proof that Pharrell's fashion prowess ranks in the top tier.
In 2008, Pharrell paired with Camille Miceli to design the Blason jewelry collection for Louis Vuitton. The collection paid tribute to the rich history of European design, as hinted by its title, Blason, which relates to a coat of arms in French heraldry. Featuring diamonds as well as white and yellow gold, the line of fine jewelry was available worldwide. Sure, we can giggle at how dated the promo video looks now, but at the time, this was a big opportunity for Pharrell.
5. Adidas Originals
Obviously a footwear fanatic, Pharrell collaborated with Adidas Originals to create the Superstar line. These multi-colored kicks are brilliantly beautiful, and go to show that anyone who fancies fashion can never have too many shoes. I mean, c'mon, just look at that rainbow!
Men I Am Other Baseball Cap, $6, uniqlo.com
In 2014, Pharrell released a collection for Uniqlo, created with Nigo, his co-producer of Billionare Boys Club and Ice Cream. The collection, i am OTHER, carries on the inclusive, difference-embracing message that his creative collective stands for, channeling the love of weird in a variety of unique and encouraging designs.
7. "Come Get It Bae"
Major kudos to Pharrell for the body positive and flirty vibes he offers up in the music video for "Come Get It Bae," featuring Miley Cyrus. Although I'm not a fan of the nomenclature "bae," (that's a story for another time), I sincerely have to commend Pharrell for putting together such a subtly significant video for his smooth, catchy tune.
The video features a handful of women rocking out to a choreographed dance, and while some might argue that it's yet another excuse to objectify women, I wholeheartedly disagree. Instead, "Come Get It Bae" puts the focus on women of varying body type, age, and ethnicity, celebrating their vibrance while highlighting their own unique style. With this video, Pharrell pays homage to the fact that many women enjoy their sexuality, and that the only really meaningful standards of beauty and fashion come from embracing your personal style and having fun with your authenticity.
Images: Getty; pharrell/Instagram; Courtesy Brands