A Guide to Billionaire Boys Club
Few names have made waves in streetwear over the past couple of decades like Billionaire Boys Club. Founded by Pharrell Williams and Nigo, BBC is a brand that produces clothing, footwear and apparel that the owners themselves want to wear. With roots in music, Japanese streetwear, pop culture and skate scenes around the globe, Billionaire Boys Club has become one of the seminal brands of the 21st century.
The owners don’t need much of an introduction, but we’ll give you one. A style and musical icon, Pharrell Williams was a member of the legendary group N.E.R.D., whilst his other venture – The Neptunes – produced songs for Jay-Z, Neli and Kelis. With super successful foundations in music, Pharrell was destined for a rich solo career too, while he has also dabbled in cinema, boasting both acting and composer credits. With multiple business ventures, Pharrell is a pivotal figure in popular culture who always seems ahead of the game.
Pharrell’s co-founder, Nigo, is also another multi-talent with a plethora of business ventures. A DJ, producer, entrepreneur and fashion designer, Nigo is renowned in the clothing industry for his streetwear label – A BATHING APE (BAPE). He is also renowned for his Human Made label, while he has collaborated with Louis Vuitton, Uniqlo and most recently Kenzo. A pivotal figure in the modern collector’s culture, he was enticed to begin a new venture with Pharrell in 2003.
Pharrell first met Nigo on a trip to Japan in the early noughties, when he visited one of Nigo’s showrooms. A groundbreaking moment for the musician, as he realised that they both were on the same wavelength creatively and aesthetically.
In an interview with Complex, Pharrell described this moment:
“I met Nigo when I went to Japan for the first time [around 2001–2002]. When I went to his showroom, it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen, ever. I just went crazy, and he let me have whatever I wanted to. So, I just admired his ability to transform his world into an interpretation of what life should be like for him. And that blew my mind, I was like 'Wow! Here’s a guy that thinks just like I do and even on a more grandeur level.”
Pharrell had found his man, and with the help of graphic designer Sk8thing and the expert advice of Toby Feltwell, Billionaire Boys Club was born in 2003. Boasting high-quality streetwear that fused Japanese and American styles, the label became renowned within streetwear around the globe. What’s more, the seasonal BBC capsules were highly limited, adding a sense of rarity to their products and tonnes of hype when a new drop landed. While the brand began in Japan, it has flagship stores in New York City and London, plus it is sold within retailers across the globe.
The duo’s projects don’t end there either, Pharrell and Nigo launched their ICECREAM label in 2004. Boasting a lo-fi ‘90s skate aesthetic, this range of casualwear is full of bold graphics and streetwear staples. Expressive and creative, ICECREAM was also inspired by Pharrell’s skate and hip-hop background, using the influence of nostalgia to channel innovation. With a firm identity for itself – just like Billionaire Boys Club – ICECREAM possesses its own unique influence on streetwear, one that continues today. Other sub-labels include the streetwear-certified Bee Line and Billionaire Girls Club.
There’s also always room for other creatives to get involved with this collaboration; Billionaire Boys Club have teamed up with the Call of Duty League, Sanse Sanse, Dragon Ball, Overtime and CASETiFY to name a few. What’s more, Jay-Z and his Rocawear label have had a history of collaborating with the brand, forming a powerhouse fusion of business prowess and fashion-forward ideas.
BBC’s clothing and accessories have revolutionised the fashion industry since its inception, showcasing fashion-forward products that are instantly recognisable and aesthetically unique - the duo's cultural influence thrives on.