Pharrell Williams and a handful of his high-profile friends -- including Samantha Ronson, Ellen Pompeo, Khloe Kardashian and fellow "The Voice" judge Gwen Stefani -- turned out at Century City's Hinoki & the Bird restaurant Wednesday evening for a dinner to celebrate the multi-hyphenate's Adidas apparel and footwear collaboration.
"Thank you first and foremost for joining us for this special night," Williams told his dinner guests before the meal was served, giving a special, heartfelt thanks to Adidas' Sport Style Division creative director Schönberger "and the whole Adidas squad."
"I'm a super-fortunate guy," he continued, "because where I come from these opportunities are not afforded to too many people and it's not often that big huge brands like Adidas would allow a musician to do things outside of music and actually consider it art. But they do -- and I appreciate that."
Williams voiced that same sentiment when we had a chance to ask him if he had a favorite design from the collaboration.
"I like it all," he said, "because it represents a wonderful opportunity that's not given to too many people. ... I feel blessed that I am able to express myself on this platform."
Williams is also using the collection as a platform to talk about equality, the collaboration's logo features an outsized yellow equal sign next to a rainbow-hued version of the familiar Adidas trefoil. In a smaller, simple typeface below is the name "Pharrell Williams."
It wasn't exactly a launch party though, the first fashionable fruit of the collaboration -- three sneakers and three track jackets -- dropped back in September, with additional riffs on those two pieces rolling out to retail each month.
The Adidas Originals = Pharrell Williams project mines Adidas' heritage in two ways: the low-top sneaker riffs on the brand's now classic Stan Smith tennis shoe silhouette circa 1973, and the Superstar track jacket with the three white stripes running from shoulder to wrist are a nod to that garment's now iconic pop culture status.
The most recent pieces, which hit retail Nov. 28, have a cheerful-looking polka dot theme; leather sneakers and satin track jackets in background colors of yellow, blue and white are allover printed with red micro dots barely the size of a pencil eraser.
Not yet at retail (but on display Wednesday night) was a blue leather shoe with an allover embroidery of larger white polka dots -- each about the size of a 25-cent piece. The combination of the color and the larger-size spot helped invoke the notion of tennis balls -- which perfectly ties together the vibe of the "Happy" singer with the tennis roots of the Stan Smith shoe. That delivery will include leather sneakers and suede track jackets in blue, red and black both bearing the larger-sized spots (embroidered on the shoes but printed on the suede jackets).
The "Polka Dot Small" track jackets ($120) and shoes ($120) are available via Adidas Originals Stores brick and mortar stores as well as online at adidas.com/pharrell. The Polka Dot Big shoes ($150) and track jackets ($1,000) are expected to roll (make that bounce) out to retail in mid-January 2015.