Shepard Fairey interviews Pharrell for the cover story of the latest issue of Paper Magazine. These two collaborators (I didn’t know Shepard Fairey designed N*E*R*D’s brain logo) discuss skateboarding, branding one’s image, collaborations with FriendsWithYou and Louis Vuitton, his new projects with Brooklyn Machine Works and Artist.com, and pushing the commercial/art movement forward.
SF: I’m curious about your relationship with [Bathing Ape designer/music producer] Nigo, who I feel is like the Japanese Warhol. In Japan, in terms of the crossover between commercial projects and high-end art, there are fewer boundaries. How did you get into what he was doing with the [clothing and shoe lines] Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream?
PW: Well, he basically just gave me a shot. I came to his studio, he showed me some of his stuff, and I told him I wanted this, this and this. He told me to take it. I wore a lot of it, and finally he was like, “Hey, you wanna do your own line?” I was like, “Hell yeah,” and so the rest was history.