“Pharrell: A Fish Doesn’t Know It’s Wet” by Pharrell Williams, with contributions by Karl Lagerfeld, Sarah Andelman, Janelle Monae, and Taraji P. Henson is an incredibly inspiring compendium of conversations between Pharrell and other notable figures. Illustrated with 250 photographs and vibrant illustrations, the book straddles the multimedia artist and businessman’s world of design, music, fashion, contemporary art, hip-hop, and even spirituality. A foreword by Brian Donnelly, the artist known as KAWS, gives a glimpse into the giving, collaborative nature Pharrell is now known for.
Set to be a thematic expansion of Pharrell’s first book, Places and Spaces I’ve Been, this book gathers another diverse group of talents from Oprah Winfrey to Takashi Murakami in conversations that position his work amidst the culture of today—from visuals to the sociology of materiality and living with intention. Far from a material man, Pharrell’s fashion endeavors have meaning behind them. G-Star Raw for the Oceans capsule collections, for instance, was a collaboration between Pharrell and G-Star’s Global Brand Director, Shubhankar Ray, that started to help address the threat posed by plastic in the world’s oceans. The collection implements fabric from Bionic Yarn, a company for which Pharrell serves as Artistic Director, made from recycled PET bottles to create denim woven from containers found in the sea. Through a partnership with Parley for the Ocean, Raw for the Oceans can now lay claim to repurposing 700,000 plastic bottled fished out of these large bodies of water.
Whether you are drawn to the book because of the meaningful interactions showcased within, the visual language showcased and perpetuated through the artist’s Ice Cream/Billionaire Boys clothing line, or his recent designs for Moncler and Adidas, Pharrell is reaching for a far higher quest. The book is meant to inspire the reader to live their life in a manner that sparks joy for them. As he tells Oprah in a conversation written out in the book, “You can’t tell a fish that it’s wet. So my point is, I want to give people the codes to help them wake up.” Each person interviewed in this book exhibits a commonality—they are in alignment with who they are. Most of all, Pharrell.