Pharrell Williams Names Adidas, Vans and Chuck Taylors in CFDA Speech

Pharrell Williams CFDA Awards
Pharrell Williams, with his wife, Helen Lasichanh, arrived at the CFDA Awards in black leather laceups.
Getty Images.

Pharrell Williams has the ability to make everyone happy. The music man was crowned a Fashion Icon at the CFDA Awards and took to the stage to talk about his defining style moments and favorite brands.

He was introduced by Kanye West: “Adidas gave us both the opportunity because they did celebrity deals, but they gave us the opportunity to think a little bit more. It is very difficult to break perception,” he said.

“Pharrell has always been my style idol, and there would be no me without Pharrell, the nicer version of Obama,” quipped West.

Here, some highlights from Williams’ speech:

“Vans and Chuck Taylors were affordable and, most importantly, they were the perfect canvas. DIY got me through high school.”

“When Tom Ford was at Gucci, I bought a carmel-colored leather jacket because it reminded me of ‘Star Wars.’ I wore that for our very first N.E.R.D. album shoot, shot by the barely-known-at-the-time-but-talented Terry Richardson. With my clothes on. He’s a genius. I’m sorry.”

“Biggy and Puff talk about Versace in their songs, and Notorius B.I.G. rhymes about Chanel. Yes, my first exposure to Chanel was B.I.G.”

“Reebok gave me my first sneaker imprint, but it wasn’t until my first trip to Japan that [my fashion sense] changed. My trip to Japan reminded me that wealth is in our thoughts, but being different is the true asset.”

“Anna Wintour gave me visibility almost 10 years ago in Vogue. Thankfully, they saw me as a musician, one who is inspired by the muses. Especially everyday American people. No one has better style than the everyday American person because they are the real thing. I could never be as cool as them, but I’m happy to take notes. I’m not a style icon — I’m just inspired.”