Pharrell Heads to Holi for New Adidas Originals Collection

Pharrell Heads to Holi for New Adidas Originals Collection

The superstar musician talks about his new collection with adidas Originals and why the Indian festival of Holi served as a major inspiration.

The superstar musician talks about his new collection with adidas Originals and why the Indian festival of Holi served as a major inspiration.

Text: MATHIAS ROSENZWEIG

Pharrell saturates his new adidas Originals collection with the spirit of Holi. The famous Indian festival, known as the "festival of colors," takes place every March in the northern Indian city of Jaipur, where locals and travelers alike paint their bodies from head-to-toe and gather together to dance beneath a giant cloud of colorful dust. We chatted with Pharrell on his connection to Holi, what successful representation and inclusion of other cultures looks like, and the reasons why adidas Originals are ahead of the game.

How did you stumble upon the Holi Festival in northern India? How would you describe it to someone who’s never been?

Holi is a festival of color and for many, it is a day to meet others. Equality, humanity, and color are all the foundation of what Hu is born from — any occasion that honors these things will always be a source of inspiration for me. I am super excited to attend this festival… I’ve never been and it’s always been something I wanted to go to.

Your adidas collaboration comes out in three parts. Can you explain the thinking behind this?

I was really inspired by the ritual of playing Holi itself - the idea of starting with a blank canvas, throwing color in the air and coming away with powder dye in your clothes as a happy reminder of the experience. Life is a process and we’re all in a constant state of progression, often being colored in some way by each experience we have. The three parts reflect that.

Color is a massive component of this festival. Can you think of other cultural events that have a similar emphasis on celebrating color? 

Color is embedded in culture, period. As human beings, we all have a color. We all look different, we all speak different languages, but we're all connected. Let’s celebrate that.

What does it take for a classic brand like adidas to evolve while staying true to what’s made it iconic?

A classic brand like adidas evolves because so do the people who believe in the brand, their athletes, collaborators, the technology they use, the team and because they have a passion to do so. They stay iconic because of where they’ve come from. adidas as a brand has made sneakers for some of the world’s best athletes that have played the field in some of the most iconic sporting moments — these informed some of adidas Originals timeless classics. The Stan Smith is perfection.

Outside of any marketing talk, what does adidas mean to you?

Inclusion.

Do you think footwear today is overvalued or undervalued?

Just valued.

How do you define success for a collaboration like this?

Success for me is giving a platform to something that has true meaning and creating great product, and I believe we do that with Hu.

How do you hope to see fashion evolve in 2018? Do you think it evolved significantly in 2017?

For me, seeing how performance technology can play a part in lifestyle is the next step. Everything is always evolving and it’s truly exciting to see what’s next.

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