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NEW YORK — Musician and producer Pharrell Williams stepped into the fashion fray Wednesday night with the debut of his Billionaire Boys Club apparel and Ice Cream footwear lines, produced under license by Reebok.

“This is not based on being an entertainer — this line is a childhood dream of mine,” Williams said at a crowded press conference. “The line doesn’t say Pharrell on it, and the goal for this collection is exclusivity.”

While the initial line of apparel and footwear is designed for young men, women’s footwear will be introduced early next year, and many styles are unisex, said Astor Chambers, Reebok’s brand director for BBC, which is housed under the company’s fast-growing Rbk division.

Williams, who was adorned with giant diamond stud earrings, an oversized diamond watch from Jacob & Co., diamond rings and a diamond necklace, said the footwear has skate and music influences. “This is a shoe collector’s shoe,” he noted. The footwear and apparel are being developed with Nigo, a Japanese musician and artist who runs the “A Bathing Ape” clothing line.

The collection of footwear and apparel has limited global distribution and will be sold starting in mid-September at stores such as Alife in New York, Fred Segal in Los Angeles and Colette in Paris. It will be available in only 30 stores in total. Chambers declined to give sales projections, but said the company had big sales goals for this collection and will introduce products on a regular basis. The apparel includes denim, zipper hoodies, T-shirts and hats, which wholesale from around $25 to $80, while the sneakers have big logos of diamonds and cash symbols and wholesale for about $100.

Williams joins a growing cadre of musicians who are launching their own lines, often with sport companies. Adidas recently debuted a collection by Missy Elliott, while Reebok also has deals with the artists 50 Cent and Jay-Z.

At a party afterward, hundreds of guests sipped champagne and grazed on snacks served by waiters wearing soda jerk costumes, matching the Ice Cream theme. Among the partygoers were Foxy Brown, who recently launched a fur collection, Adrock of the Beastie Boys and Robert Iler of “The Sopranos.”

This story first appeared in the August 27, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

— M.K.

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