On December 20, Colette, the cult Parisian boutique, will shutter after two decades in business. Reports indicate Saint Laurent might take over its lease, but until then, at least, Karl Lagerfeld is giving the shop a grand send-off in the form of a Chanel pop-up that will take over its first floor for a month beginning October 30. As part of the “residency,” model Caroline de Maigret is scheduled to give a talk on “style and allure,” according to WWD, Lagerfeld has designed exclusive t-shirts, and the band Ibeyi will play a concert.
But perhaps most importantly, Chanel muse, sneaker aficionado, and number-one Carl Sagan fan Pharrell Williams has designed an exclusive sneaker in collaboration with Adidas that will be unveiled at the pop-up next month. Chanel rarely collaborates with other brands (Lagerfeld, on the other hand, licenses his name out right and left), but high fashion sneaker collaborations are almost expected at this point. Adidas has worked with designers like Stella McCartney, Alexander Wang, Y-3 by Yohji Yamamoto, and, of course, Kanye West. Williams, a longtime Adidas ambassador and a more recent Chanel model, customized one of his trademark Adidas Hu NMD shoes for Chanel, and while Chanel has yet to reveal images of the design, some unofficial photos had already begun to circulate earlier this month on Instagram. (Adidas declined to comment at the time.) Judging by the photos, we’re looking at a pair of black-and-white trainers with “Pharrell” emblazoned along the front of one shoe, “Chanel” along the other, all in block capitals. (Conveniently, they rhyme.)
Williams is among the newer members of Lagerfeld’s inner circle, but he has, apparently, taken to the role. He walked the runway at the Chanel Métiers d’Art show last December, wearing tweed and pearls and crisp ivory booties. Earlier this year, he also appeared in the campaign for the brand’s Gabrielle bag, in which he can be seen spinning around on roadie cases in an empty warehouse, a beanie on his head and a Gabrielle bag slung across his torso. In that video, he again wears Chanel tweed and jewelry, albeit paired with black plimsolls.
So here’s an existential question: What is a Pharrell without his sneakers? His upcoming Chanel collaboration is the logical culmination of their work together, an element we didn’t realize was missing when he danced across the dining room of the Ritz Paris in boots instead of lace-ups. This winter, if the musician reprises his role in the Métiers d’Art show, he’ll be equipped with the proper, and Chanel-endorsed, footwear.
See Pharrell Williams interviewed by a seven-year-old: