Pharrell: a fish doesn’t know it’s wet

Front cover of Conscious Capitalism.

The recording artists’ passion for not only music, but contemporary art and design, is evidenced in this book that features projects and designs the singer has worked on and his most impressive recent collaborations with some of the biggest brands in the world.

At the heart of the book are images from Pharrell’s Ice Cream/Billionaire Boys Club clothing line, which illustrate his sophisticated approach to streetwear through the design of apparel, accessories, limited -edition toys and skate graphics.

Over 288 pages and with contributions by the Fendi and Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld, professional basketball player Lebron James and Sarah Andelman - founder and creative director of the Parisian concept store Colette-Transformations documents Pharrell's continuing adventures in art and design.

He is seen as one of the most influential figures in contemporary music and popular culture. A volume is dedicated to the worldwide success of the song Happy - first released in 2013 as a long-form video when Pharrell was 40 and which went on to hit number one in 24 countries including the UK and US. It is bookended with a volume devoted to Pharrell’s artistic collaboration featuring the soundtrack and production credit for the Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures.

Featuring 300 colour photographs the book focuses on how Pharrell’s creative output straddles art, design, and hip-hop. By playing off different disciplines — music, fashion, and contemporary art —Pharrell has redefined the role of the contemporary recording artist. The publication details how he blazed a trail for other musicians and prominent cultural figures.

It highlights Pharrell’s most impressive recent collaborations including projects and designs for Chanel, Moncler, Moynat, and Adidas. There's also space dedicated to his pioneering work with artists and photographers as diverse as JR, Alex Katz, MR, and Daniel Arsham. New York based Arsham, for example, involved the recreation in volcanic ash of Pharrell's first keyboard, while in 2014 Katz painted the music supremo for a special edition of W magazine.

Fashion fans won't be disappointed by the insight into the visual language that Pharrell has built around his Ice Cream and Billionaire Boys Club clothing line. The sophisticated approach to streetwear reflected in the design of apparel, accessories, limited-edition toys, and skate graphics, proves the versatility of this Virginia-born star.

Pharrell: A Fish Doesn’t Know It’s Wet is published by Rizzoli