NEW YORK — If megaproducer and performer Pharrell Williams and his business partner, Japanese fashion designer Nigo, needed any proof of how well their new Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream shop might do, they got it Tuesday during an unpublicized preview day — all 100 pairs of a limited edition light blue Ice Cream sneaker sold out within minutes.
"We had about a dozen people sleeping outside on the sidewalk on Monday night," said brand manager Loic Villepontoux. "Then when I came in at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, there were about 40 people lined up to get in. It was madness."
The store was closed again on Wednesday and the official opening is today. The 2,000-square-foot store, which is spread over two levels, is the mastermind of Williams and Nigo, who collaborate on the design of the two apparel and sneaker labels. Both brands launched four years ago and are sold in high-end specialty stores worldwide, including Barneys New York and Colette in Paris. Billionaire Boys Club, Williams said, was born from his own "ghetto" aspirations.
"Everyone was talking millions when we started, and I said, 'F-that, I want billions,'" he joked of where the brand name came from.
Today, Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream (which is a play on hip-hop speak with ice meaning "jewels" and cream as "cash") are both high-end skateboard-inspired brands, with product wholesaling from $45 for a graphic T-shirt to $880 for a crystal-encrusted jacket. Reebok produces the Ice Cream skateboarder sneakers (or board flips, as they are known), but all other styles are produced in-house.
"When we started the brands four years ago, the dream was to open a store in Tokyo and New York," Nigo said, speaking through a translator. Besides his role with Williams, Nigo is also the mastermind behind the cult streetwear label A Bathing Ape. "This is really making the dream happen."
Ice Cream is the more playful of the brands, with colors like pastel pink, bright yellow and mint green splashed throughout the array of hoodies, T-shirts and sneakers. Billionaire Boys Club is the more mature label, with high-end Japanese denim jeans and embroidered logos on hoodies. The clothes are sized from XS to XXL, with the smaller sizes being geared to women. The sneakers are available in both women's and men's sizes.The store, which is located at 455 West Broadway, has a Space Age, ice-cream parlor feeling. There are clean white walls as a backdrop for the ice-cream sandwich benches, stainless steel ice-cream display cases that house the candy-colored sneakers and long racks of perfectly pressed T-shirts and hoodies. In the back, a pitch-black staircase, lit with tiny blue lights, takes customers to the second floor. On the upper level is where the Billionaire Boys Club merchandise sits. The floor is meant to look like the surface of the moon and the walls and ceiling are sprayed with multicolor stars, all on a dark blue background.
This is the third store for Williams and Nigo. Their first shop opened in Tokyo about two years ago and the second launched in Hong Kong three months ago. The design of the new space took about three months to put together, but that was after a long period of waiting for the stainless steel fixtures and specially made shelves to come in from Japanese manufacturer D-Brain.
Company executives said they expect first-year sales of about $3 million.
Williams said while he is proud of what he has accomplished with the building of these two brands, he remains cautious when it comes to expansion.
"We really want to concentrate on these three stores and our wholesale businesses now," he said. "In all of this, I am just a student, Nigo is the teacher. He has taught me that quality is so much more important than quantity, and you will not find better quality Japanese fabrics. You create a great quality product, design what you believe in, and the money will follow. That's what I've learned in all of this."
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye