SPARKLING COCKTAIL: On Saturday night, Paris’ cultural set was perusing through the personal jewelry collection of Pharrell Williams — at a book signing of the monograph dedicated to his custom-made jewels at cocktail bar Cravan.
“Pharrell: Carbon, Pressure & Time: A Book of Jewels,” scheduled to be published by Rizzoli New York on Tuesday, is dedicated to what the musician and creative director of menswear at Louis Vuitton once described as “a costly habit” of his.
Among the eclectic crowd who feted the musician and creative director of menswear at Louis Vuitton were Ambush designer Yoon Ahn; New York-based English musician Dev Hynes; Olympic, World and European fencing champion Enzo Lefort; Sarah Andelman, the former buying director at Colette and founder of consultancy Just an Idea, and French chef Jean Imbert.
Cocktail hour was ideal timing for a flying visit, said Imbert, who confessed he hadn’t been able to resist dashing over even as the dinner service at the Plaza Athénée was about to start.
Some arrived bright and early to lock down a good spot before Williams arrived. “I feel like I’m just going to hand him my résumé or something,” gushed one guest, clutching their new acquisition to their chest.
Others rolled up in style, like Instagram’s EMEA head of strategic partnerships Clara Cornet, who arrived standing in the cargo box of a bicycle ridden by husband Luca Pronzato, founder of creative culinary studio We Are Ona.
The new book was certainly shaping up to be a must-read, with copies rung up at a brisk pace as the “Happy“ hitmaker was given a tour of the establishment by founder Franck Audoux.
“I just can’t wait to dive into it,” gushed 3.Paradis designer Emeric Tchatchoua, who slipped in under the 8 p.m. wire to get his hands on a copy of the freshly released tome.
As guests waited for Williams to ready his Sharpie, chatter buzzed around the 100-plus custom pieces featured throughout the book, ranging from bejeweled “unauthorized” Casio G-Shock watches and gem-encrusted N.E.R.D. Brain pendants by Jacob & Co. to William’s early collaboration with Louis Vuitton from 2008.
“I had no idea that [jewelry] was so important to him,” said Études cofounder Aurélien Arbet, leafing through the 216-page tome with creative partner Jérémie Egry. “It was a real discovery and you understand the look.”
It is “the first monograph of a connoisseur of the [hip-hop jewelry] space, on an individual creator within [it]” and set a new bar for the genre, said Rizzoli’s Ian Luna, who serves as editor for the book.
“Like everything else that he’s done, you know, [Williams] has innovated within this fashion space,” he continued, naming “Cuban links with diamonds, the use of color on pendants, the use of both natural and engineered diamonds to create color and texture” as examples.
The tome also includes conversations with the likes of Kenzo creative director Nigo; rapper Tyler, the Creator; Ahn and partner Verbal of Japanese label Ambush; jewelers Lorraine Schwartz and Jacob Arabo as well as Tiffany & Co. executive vice president, product and communications Alexandre Arnault.
“[Williams] popularized some very important forms of [hip-hop] jewelry that are now in the high jewelry collection of big luxury houses,” continued the editor and author, who also curated the Rizzoli book selection sold at Cravan.
The evening also served to inaugurate the Rizzoli outpost and mark its position as a cultural hot spot. “Since Colette closed, there hadn’t been a place for the kind of fashion-forward, very youthful books [offered in the selection],” Luna said. “Pharrell [Williams] being the principal event for the opening of our bookstore keys in with this philosophy.”