This year we’re virtually seeing a constant stream of brandlash on our timelines. If there’s one thing that no brand can afford to do right now – is get it wrong. And if there’s one thing the people’s icon, Pharrell Williams has been a prime advocate of – is getting it right time and time again. Diversity, vibrancy, edge and inclusion have been the key components to any Pharrell creative project and it’s all done with understated power moves that don’t go unnoticed.
Adidas & Stan Smith recently collaborated with the producer extraordinaire on the official 2017 tennis wear. In this campaign, Pharrell put skin in the game: literally. Three dark-skinned models don the new 70’s inspired kit on a multi-coloured court. By now, if you follow Wimbledon, you’ll know this is a narrative we very rarely see. The game has been historically branded with a predominantly white and upper-class image for a minute now – apparently no more.
The new campaign fits perfectly with the designs: cable knits, the colourful return of sweatbands and knee-high socks all bringing back the psychedelic funk and groove of the 70’s culture. To top it off, Williams has also served hard with a campaign launch titled “Don’t be Quiet Please” around NYC with the likes of Young M.A. and Desiigner. Seeing the campaign you realise just how far the game has come, especially since the days of Serena and Venus’ controversial coloured beads and tailor-made fits.
As co-owner of G-Star Raw, Pharrell also brought the denim brand to another level of authenticity and honesty. The short video for the new #GStarElwood campaign includes London’s very-own model-activist Adwoa Aboah, and her thoughts on acceptance of “Identity”, good “friendships” and “solidarity”. In Pharrell’s own words, a campaign made for “us”. Not just ‘them’.
Pharrell, using the reins of his creative influence and leverage, is continuing to place subtle reminders that diversity is normal. Unfortunately there’s no specific award for that yet… but we see you skateboy P.