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Interview Magazine’s Collen Nika speaks with Pharrell Williams regarding one of his lesser known but increasingly projects, Bionic Yarn. The material constructed of recycled product made a high-profile debut within Pharrell’s recent collaboration with Moncler. The interview seen below details how he stumbled upon Bionic Yarn and the properties and possibilities of the material. A few questions can be seen below with a full look over at Interview Magazine’s.
COLLEEN NIKA: How did the Moncler x Bionic Yarn collaboration happen? How did you bring your own design ideal to the brand’s noted high-tech sports aesthetic?
PHARRELL: I’d been talking with Moncler for a while about doing a collaboration project with them. When they found out about Bionic Yarn we both felt it was a perfect fit for the capsule collection I had in mind. We used a print by Keita Sugiura, a young Japanese artist who was discovered at an art show put on by Takashi Murakami. We wanted to create something new and interesting, and while going through our original samples with Moncler, decided to kick it up a notch by adding the “bullet proof” vest. Like Moncler, a lot of my creative projects are inspired and driven by technology and style. Incorporating Bionic Yarn into the collection I made with Moncler was natural.
NIKA: Why and when did you begin to engage with Bionic Yarn? What was the initial attraction for you?
PHARRELL: I met Tyson [Toussant], one of the founders of Return Textiles, creator of Bionic Yarn, through a friend—we were talking because I wanted to get involved in a “green” business, and then I saw the product. It was a done deal. The fabric feels fantastic!
NIKA: You have two other clothing lines—Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream—that are sold in limited quantities. How did what you set out to achieve with Bionic Yarn differ? Does any cross-branding occur?
PHARRELL: Yes, we are doing something with BBC and Bionic Yarn now, but I don’t design Bionic Yarn–Bionic Yarn is a product developed, patented, and, owned by Return Textiles LLC, of which I’m a brand ambassador and investor/partner. Even though I don’t design Bionic Yarn, I was thrilled when I was designing Moncler that they asked to use it.