NEW YORK — It isn't unusual to see lines of young people stretching down the block in downtown New York for various reasons. Those in line at the Billionaire Boys Club/ Ice Cream store Thursday evening were waiting to grab an exclusive hat and T-shirt and, oh yeah, to meet super-producer, [artist id="1162883"]N.E.R.D.[/artist] frontman and fashion icon [artist id="1242768"]Pharrell Williams[/artist].
As part of Fashion's Night Out, a citywide initiative to boost the retail industry, Pharrell worked behind the register at the Soho location of his BBC/ Ice Cream brand. Fans started to line up before the store opened at noon, even though Pharrell wasn't scheduled to arrive until 6 p.m. He said he was fortunate to receive such a turnout.
"I feel blessed. I know that none of this had to be," said Pharrell, who had performed with N.E.R.D. the night before. "I could be in many different places, and fortunately I'm here."
Pharrell founded the brand in 2005 along with A Bathing Ape creator Nigo. The brand is known for its T-shirts, denim, sweatshirts and sneakers in a variety of vivid colors featuring imaginative logos and patterns.
Pharrell said the kids who support the brand embrace it, but they make it their own. "We look at these kids as soldiers, not necessarily to represent me, but just representing freedom of being who you want to be, not feeling tethered down to a particular style or archetype or genre," he explained. "And that's what I try to do."
He added that every once in a while he wants to give back.
"I was blessed and fortunate enough to have this experience, and I don't want to take it for granted," he said. "Every once in a while I want to shake the hands of, like — forget the music. I love the music, but I'm saying I want them to know I really appreciate you rocking our designs."