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Pharrell Williams is everywhere.
He’s singing and dancing with the ubiquitous Cara Delevingne in a short film for Chanel; he has songs on the soundtracks for the upcoming Annie and The Interview; he’s now the owner of a piece of Hollywood history after receiving a star on the Walk of Fame on Thursday; and he’s filled one of those big red chairs on the current season of The Voice.
But there is a rather significant place where you won’t see the striking face of the successful music mogul: on his new collaboration with Adidas. “It can’t be about my face because I’m not the athlete. I’m an artist,” Williams told The Hollywood Reporter of the line, which skips his image in favor of an equal sign to symbolize equality. “I’ll never be a Michael Jordan. But if I had to play a sport, I run for the human race. That’s the closest I come to a sport. For me, I wanted to do something that was bigger than me, bigger than I could ever dream or would even want to be — and that’s equality.”
Williams’ comments came on Wednesday night inside Century City’s chic Hinoki & The Bird during a private dinner to toast the line, which features colorful track jackets and Stan Smith shoes, many of which are emblazoned with polka-dots. The 41-year-old — sporting a stylish Nick Fouquet brim, Adidas sneakers and weathered jeans with an Adidas logo splashed on the backside — proved to be a gracious and lively host to guests including Gwen Stefani, Khloe Kardashian, Ellen Pompeo, A$AP Ferg, Samantha Ronson, Hans Zimmer, Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, Adidas creative director Dirk Schoenberger, director Diane Martel, choreographer Fatima Robinson, Shae Haley of N.E.R.D., hairstylist Jen Atkin and The A-List’s Ashlee Margolis.
Williams also took two minutes to deliver humble remarks at his bash, which featured beats by DJ D-Nice (think classic R&B mixed in with some of Williams’ best tracks). “Where I come from these opportunities are not afforded many people,” noted the Virginia native. “I have a brand that stands behind me when I say that equality is so much bigger than me.”
During his speech, the “Happy” hitmaker also alluded to recent controversy surrounding remarks he made about the unrest in Ferguson, Mo. “If you guys know anything about me, you’ve seen what I have been through this past week and this is very ironic because I’m the main one who is screaming equality when everyone else can’t wait to put their face on a T-shirt,” he said.
His face may not be on any Chanel designs, but Williams said he couldn’t turn down the opportunity to appear in a new project for Karl Lagerfeld. “I’m a huge fan of Karl and I’m a huge fan of the brand so for me, that was important to do,” he said. As for his co-star? “I’m very proud of Cara. She’s a very unique and very talented spirit.”
And while his status as a fashion icon is as thick as cement, Williams was quick to turn the conversation back to his true love when asked about what the future holds for him in the fashion biz: “Music is the skeleton key that has opened every door for me.”
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