What’s it like to be friends with Pharrell Williams? The scene at Perrotin Gallery in Paris last night, on the eve of Paris Fashion Week, gave us a glimpse. A heavy crowd filled the five floors, the twisting stairwell, the sidewalk out front, and part of the street to celebrate the opening of the second digital auction by Joopiter, the platform Williams launched in 2022. Among them were Tyler the Creator, Beck, Pusha T, ASAP Ferg, Jackson Wang, Takashi Murakami, KAWS, Futura, Alexandre Arnault, Olivier Sarkozy, Michele Lamy—and the list goes on. It was a steamy evening, but the Moet was frosty and the guests patiently wove their way through the exhibition of art and design objects for a chance to toast the man of the hour.
For Joopiter’s first auction last October, Williams went full Marie Kondo, giving fans and collectors a chance to own pieces from his personal archive—including his famous 18-karat gold Blackberry and an iconic array of peak stunt-era bling made by Jacob & Co. This time around, he’s tapped his global network of famous friends and collaborators to contribute pieces to the auction—many of which are original and made for the occasion. Curated by Colette founder Sarah Andelman, the Just Phriends auction includes 61 lots with works by fashion-adjacent artists Daniel Arsham, Futura, and JR, in addition to rare pieces from Pharrell-adjacent brands Louis Vuitton, Human Made, Richard Mille, and more. Up for bidding is an iconic MTV Music Awards Moonman by KAWS ($80,000-100,000), a pair of Pharrell’s Chanel x Adidas sneakers ($3,000-5,000), and the Human Made trunks ($1,500-2,500) worn by boxer Gervonta “Tank” Davis in a fight earlier this year.
“It’s like a galaxy,” Andelman said at the opening. “I tried to not be in one world. We have artists, very young, very old, from all over the world.” In the show statement, she wrote that the auction “spans a global order propelled in equal parts by Luxury Fashion, Contemporary Art and Design, and Hip Hop Music.” A gift shop on the ground floor sells gold grills, skate decks, graphic tees, and, of course, products from Williams’ Humanrace skincare brand.
The auction is a physical manifestation of the aesthetic universe Williams has been cultivating for more than two decades. And in a sense, the opening party felt more like a sendoff for the creative multihyphenate, who begins a new era this week with the debut of his first collection as men’s creative director of Louis Vuitton. Not that he’s going to leave any of this behind. More than likely, he’ll take it all with him. Where he goes, the world follows. In that sense, we’re all Phriends with Pharrell.
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Inside Pharrell’s Star-Studded Joopiter Auction Party in Paris