Inside Pharrell Williams’s Stylish Trip to Dakar for the Chanel Show

Of course, the star needed his own statement outfit for the affair. Williams wore Chanel’s purple floral-print button-up shirt and below-the-knee shorts, complete with a matching bucket hat and mini quilted necklace bag. Shorts are his signature item, he says. “I’m a shorts guy, though those were the longest shorts I’ve worn in a long time,” Williams says. “My shorts are usually shorter; I lean towards a 1980s tennis-player kind of thing. But this was a very different look—something flowy and super comfortable.” He adds that the label’s sleek, universal appeal is what keeps him coming back for more. “They make certain things that I can just pull off,” says Williams. “Whether it’s a women’s cardigan or a black jacket which was really inspired by a men’s silhouette of a bellman’s jacket, a lot of the things that Coco Chanel did in the very beginning borrowed from things that had a very masculine impetus.”

Williams made sure to take in some of the sights outside of the show. “We went everywhere from the markets to the hood,” says Williams. “We went to this place called Medina; it was very beautiful.” The star also made stops at the Bufalo Soldier Music Shop, where he met owner Cheikh Amala Doucouré, and visited some of the Dakar markets, too. “We saw everything from apparel to jewelry, and modern and ancient statues,” says Williams. “I didn’t do too much shopping, though. I was more interested in people watching.”  His main takeaway from all of the locals? “You see the resiliency of the people and you sense that immense pride that they have their own sovereignty.”

Pharrell at the Bufalo Soldier Music Shop

Photo: Courtesy of Chanel