Three Ways Creative Visionary Pharrell Williams Walks The Walk
Arts and Culture

Happy Birthday, Pharrell! Three Ways The Creative Visionary Walks The Walk

(Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images)

The Son of a Pharaoh is celebrating another trip around the sun. Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth.

The terrain of Pharrell Williams, the multi-award-winning visionary and entrepreneur, who builds creative universes using music, fashion, and design, is endless. From curating fashion lines, festivals, and experiences to championing for HBCU education and Black entrepreneurship, Williams’ level is too high to bring down.

Let’s take a look at the ways in which the legendary hip-hop musician and producer not only talks the talk but walks the walk in his distinctive style.

A cultural global icon

Williams is in the business of celebrating art, culture, and music.

He currently runs his Billionaire Boy’s Club and ICE CREAM fashion lines in addition to designing for major luxury retailers like Chanel—which named him the first male fashion ambassador—and Tiffany & Co., owned by Louis Vuitton parent LVMH.

Now, the fashion guru has been named Louis Vuitton’s new menswear designer, a spot that had been vacant since Virgil Abloh’s death in November 2021.

“The way in which he breaks boundaries across the various worlds he explores, aligns with Louis Vuitton’s status as a Cultural Maison, reinforcing its values of innovation, pioneer spirit, and entrepreneurship,” said Louis Vuitton’s CEO and Chairman in a statement.

What’s more? Next month is the Something in the Water festival, and Williams announced the extensive lineup of artists participating. He launched the art, music and cultural festival in 2009.

 

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“Create the city you deserve”

Back in 2021, Williams delivered an inspiring fall commencement speech to the graduating class at Norfolk State University. In addition to nearly 400 alumni crossing the stage, the university presented Williams with an honorary degree.

“You have the ability to create the city that you deserve, the life that you deserve,” he said in his speech.

He continued: “Don’t wait until Election Day. Vote with your wallets today, tomorrow, and the next day. Does the business owner look like you? Shop there.” Williams also urged the graduates to focus on changing outdated language, including the word “minority.”

Indeed, Williams strives for community resilience.

Since then, Williams has been giving back in special ways, including paying off five NAACP youth leaders’ student debt.

“It’s about equity”

In 2022, adverse market conditions led to a 45% decrease in financing for Black entrepreneurs. Williams, who has been named an equity investor in the estimated $200 renovation of the iconic Baltimore Arena, understands the importance of network and resources.

For example, Williams’ Black ambition is leveling the playing field by creating the relationships and conditions for Black and Hispanic founders to excel, uninterrupted. His Black Ambition Prize Competition provides mentorship, resources, connections, and up to $3 million dollars in awards to founders innovating in consumer products and services, media and entertainment, healthcare, technology, and Web 3.0 industries.

 

“It’s not just about creating space for our Black, Hispanic and HBCU entrepreneurs, it’s about equity, it’s about giving them the tools, resources and hands-on mentorship to excel uninterrupted. I am constantly blown away by the ideas and businesses that our applicants have developed and created.”

 


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