The multi-talented artist Pharrell Williams is the latest star to cover GQ magazine. Photographed by Pari Dukovic at Mr. C in Beverly Hills, Pharrell sat down with GQ’s Devin Friedman to chat about his career, recent accomplishments, and current endeavors. Check out a preview below:
10:57 a.m. Uniqlo, West Hollywood When Pharrell arrives, it’s as if in a bubble. Like Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. Starbucks in one hand, two Asian-American women assistants trailing in his wake, a Chanel scarf waving from his back pocket. Uniqlo has closed this store, in the Beverly Center, for an event: About thirty homeless kids have been given a shopping spree. Pharrell Williams, who of course collaborates on a clothing line with Uniqlo, is the surprise guest.
He takes a picture with a girl in a her royal smurfness T-shirt and checks out jeans with a kid in a Lakers jersey. Truth be told, a lot of these kids don’t seem to know who he is. Most 7-year-olds don’t even know what a celebrity is. They don’t know that this is the man who, not long ago, was responsible for 43 percent of songs played on the radio in a single month; they probably don’t watch The Voice, where Pharrell is a celebrity “coach”; they don’t listen to “Blurred Lines” and know, hey, the genius behind that song wasn’t Robin Thicke, it was longtime super-producer and current pop star Pharrell Williams; and they don’t know that his 2014 album, G I R L, is up for an album-of-the-year Grammy. Free skinny jeans in rainbow colors stacked to the rafters—that’s more intoxicating to a homeless kid than the reigning pop-music genius of our time.
None of this bothers Pharrell. He is in his bubble, wandering the consumer video game that is Uniqlo. You could find a worse metaphor for Pharrell than Uniqlo. Post-racial, post-gender, kind of post-national. Its products are bright and happy and totally synthetic and futuristic and irresistible and are born of that high-low mix.
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