When Pharrell initially announced his collaboration with Mark McNairy, people were initially taken aback. But when you think about it, the designer is actually a natural fit, given his tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and the fact that he's super down to work with rappers.
We caught up with Pharrell at a preview of the upcoming Billionaire Boys Club fall collection, and got an up-close look at the BEE line collection designed by Mark McNairy. Check out our interview below, and find out which Japanese designer McNairy reminds Pharrell of.
Interview By Jian DeLeon (@jiandeleon)
How did you get introduced to Mark McNairy?
Pharrell: I met Mark through our first shoe collaboration. We were doing wingtips, and I wanted to do some boots, and I wanted to have some made. I was like “I would love some with a red bottom, or a green bottom, or a yellow bottom” and he pulled some out, so he had already had it done. Then it was like “Ok cool, let’s go.”
What do you like about his work and design?
Pharrell: Mark is super Southern in his tastes, but his tone is amazing. He has just as much knowledge when it comes to textiles and the garment business as a dandyman from England. This guy has just as much understanding of fabrics as the some of the best bespoke places on Bond Street.
Let’s make weird, accessible clothing that people can put on and become individuals.
And he’s from North Carolina, that’s like right next door to me, he’s kind of like an American Southern Junya Watanabe. I’m a huge Comme des Garcons fan. So when I got the chance to team up with him, I was like “Oh yeah, someone who thinks like me! Let’s make weird, accessible clothing that people can put on and become individuals.” That was basically it, so you’ll just see the mixing and melding of different mentalities across the board. Like you have a bubble vest in a material they would never use. This is a time for layers, and all of our stuff is very layer friendly.
Hunting is naturally a BBC thing, and Mark’s an outdoor guy, so it makes sense. I’m creatively passionate about certain things, but I’m not the homework guy. I’ll see something and fall in love with it but I’m not really doing the research. This is what he does everyday.
What inspired the BBC collection?
Pharrell: The main BBC collection is continuing with the outdoor lifestyle and all the usual stuff. It’s the next iteration of where we are with the DNA of the brand and trying to progress forward with our colors, patterns, and the things we feel like make us, “us.”
BBC started out heavy with all-over prints, especially in hoodies, and now you guys have got critter pants and all-over print polo shirts, is that a natural, classier progression of BBC? Are you paying homage to that sort of heritage of the brand?
Pharrell: Maybe it’s homage, or maybe it’s just what we feel right now. That’s gonna change. Next year it’s gonna look completely different.
So what kind of things are you feeling right now?
Pharrell: Extra denim. The more denim, the better.
Yeah, you’re definitely rocking some drop-crotch jeans with a lot of fabric bunching right now. Do you think that’s a future trend?
Pharrell: I don’t know for anyone else, but for me. I did these for myself. I even customized my boots. I think the biggest trend right now is customization. You could either get it bespoke somewhere or you could do it yourself, and I try to do a little of both.
What about the color schemes of the BEE Line?
Pharrell: Well let me bring Mark over for that. Mark, can you speak to the colors that we chose?
Mark: We used a lot of yellow accents because of the whole “BEE” thing, such as yellow pocket lining.
What about the use of tweeds, herringbones, and more menswear-influenced fabrications and patterns in the line?
Mark: Yeah, I was trying to merge traditional menswear and streetwear.