Pharrell never thought that he’d be collaborating with Chanel. In fact, he once made a bet with a friend who predicted the opposite—“It was a bet I was happy to lose,” jokes the award-winning musician, producer and designer. Now, that story is immortalized on the back of a long sleeve tee that’s part of the new Chanel Pharrell collection launching this spring.
Pharrell—a long-time friend of the house and of the late Karl Lagerfeld—brings his sense of individuality to the brand with a streetwear-inspired collection of gender fluid clothing and accessories. Hooded sweatshirts, oversized shoppers, terry cloth bucket hats and suede hip packs in assorted rainbow bright colours anchor the positivity and ambition of the capsule (this is the man who wrote and produced the song “Happy,” after all). Chanel’s iconic emblems like the interlocked Cs, N°5 and Coco, are reimagined as rhinestone embroideries and graffiti, while a merged design of both the house’s and artist’s name leaves its mark throughout the collection.
In a video about the collaboration, Pharrell praised the brand’s openness to experimentation, citing the fearlessness of both Gabrielle Chanel and Lagerfeld. “There doesn’t need to be boundaries,” he said. “As long as you can hold on to the heritage, and continue to push it, like Karl always does, we don’t need walls; we need bridges.”
The collection officially launches in Seoul on March 28 for the opening of the new Chanel boutique, and is available in select stores internationally on April 5. To celebrate the collaboration, the musician filmed a campaign inspired by the high-energy and vibrancy of a late-night motorcycle road trip. Watch an exclusive behind-the-scenes making of the Chanel Pharrell campaign video below.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.