PARIS — Get Pharrell Williams talking about fine jewelry and he's as clear and emphatic on the subject as the giant diamond solitaire ring on his finger — "D flawless, no inclusions, colorless," he points out.
"It's a costly habit of mine," Williams said, also showing off a Casio watch, N.E.R.D.-logo belt buckle and key fob, all pavéd in diamonds — not to mention the gold-plated BlackBerry and cell phone stuffed in his pockets. "It's fun to do it on Louis Vuitton's dime for once."
The music superstar will unveil his long-awaited jewelry collection for the French luxury giant Monday night during couture week here.
Created in collaboration with Vuitton's in-house jewelry designer Camille Miceli, the collection includes such striking styles as a cherub ring with a gem clutched between tiny fingers, a three-foot-long necklace of diamond crowns and crests and "secret society" rings and bracelets featuring an LV-logo emblem that flips over to plain pavé.
Several years in the making, the collection — named Blason, the French word for coat of arms — is slated to arrive in 21 Vuitton stores in April, including locations in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Paris and Tokyo. Retail prices are expected to range from about 1,400 euros, or $2,070 at current exchange, for a yellow gold ring to 420,000 euros, or $620,760, for a necklace in white gold and diamonds.
In an interview, Williams discussed his evolving — and trendsetting — taste in jewelry, his interest shifting recently from oversize and showy necklaces to high-tech gadgets and rugged fare like mountaineering clips, which he has pavéd in diamonds.
Having designed his own personal jewelry for years, Williams approached Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs about a possible jewelry project after a 2004 collaboration on eyewear, according to Miceli.
Williams brought Miceli two books — one on Art Deco, another on Africa — proving they were birds of a feather. Both influences figure in the collection: Africa in the chunky proportions of bracelet and earring styles, Art Deco in a graphic grouping of stylized, crisscross LV logos in white and yellow gold.
A coat of arms, inspired by French Freemasons, is at the center of the collection, figuring on everything from delicate rings in pink sapphires to a colorful can't-miss-it hunk of a glittering belt buckle. It depicts an LV logo atop a checkerboard pattern — a wink to the brand's Damier check — with heraldic rays emanating from the floral center.The idea for cherub rings and bracelets, meanwhile, came from the angel tattoo splashed across Williams' neck. "We all need angels around us and angels make us feel better," he explained.
Williams and Miceli shot a promotional video for the jewelry, which is backed by a new Williams track, "Everyone Knows." The video will be screened at the launch event — with Kanye West, Marianne Faithfull and Diane Kruger expected to be among the VIP guests — and will later appear on Vuitton's Web site.
Meanwhile, having recently taken delivery of an Hermès Haut à Courroies bag Williams had custom-made in purple baby crocodile, he said handbags and watches are probably his next fashion project, though the rap star and producer couldn't yet say for which brand.
Besides his projects with Vuitton, Williams also partners with Japanese fashion star Nigo for the Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream lines.
“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