A touching performance by American rapper Tobe Nwigwe with dancers, singers and musicians animated the packed event.
Pharrell Williams and Tobe Nwigwe at the Moncler x Pharrell Williams event in Milan.COURTESY OF MONCLER
There was no performance by Williams himself as many guests were expecting, but a show-cum-party drawing a full house (5,000 people were in attendance, including Willow and Jaden Smith) that enjoyed an exhibition by American rapper Tobe Nwigwe, a longtime collaborator and friend of Williams.
The man of the night, who put his mark on the Moncler collection dropping exclusively at the Antonia boutique in Milan on Thursday before a global rollout on Friday, had unveiled the lineup as part of a much bigger extravaganza last February at London’s Moncler Genius event. He watched the Nwigwe show from a private area alongside Moncler chairman and chief executive officer Remo Ruffini, inside the Portrait Milano square, the multipurpose complex replete with hospitality and retail spaces recently unveiled by the Ferragamo family.
Nwigwe is an artist, visionary and entrepreneur who started the Black Angels Collective, a group of technically trained dancers of color, in 2018. The BAC’s mission is to promote positive self-image, to create a higher standard in the performance industry, and to inspire women and girls to find their purpose through the medium of dance.
The touching show, which featured high-octane dance moves by the BAC, included a performance by the ReChoirMints choir, followed by a DJ set. Dancers and performers wore items from the Moncler x Pharrell Williams lineup inspired by glamping and defined by utilitarian details.
Williams, who is creative director of menswear at Louis Vuitton, kept a low profile until the performance was over and he took to the stage for a quick thank-you speech.
“What about that phenomenal, phenomenal performance that we just got,” he said. “First of all it’s an honor to be back in this country. Number two, please make some noise for Remo [Ruffini]. We wear his clothes, we wear his ideas. [For] his amazing family and wife, his sons Pietro and Romeo,” he said. “Those guys all changed my life, and I can’t believe that I’m here right now in Italy with Moncler since 2009,” he added.
Williams first joined the Moncler family in 2009, designing a special edition of men’s jackets. The duo have linked again several times, including for the Pharrell pour Moncler and Moncler Lunettes in fall 2013, and for the Moncler Maya 70 jacket debuted in 2022, in tandem with the brand’s anniversary, and incidentally sported for campaign imagery by Nwigwe.
Pharrell Williams and Moncler chairman and CEO Remo Ruffini at the Moncler x Pharrell Williams event in Milan.COURTESY OF MONCLER
“With Moncler Genius we are always looking for new ways to engage, express ourselves, inspire and be inspired by our communities. It is a platform for new creative perspectives,” Ruffini said in emailed remarks. “Pharrell Williams is a visionary, a multitalent, and a friend who has been there for some of our proudest moments over the years. The co-creation project Moncler x Pharrell Williams is an artistic expression of two worlds that come together to create new languages and new energy, a collection that reflects the love for the outdoor interpreted with a sophisticated design,” he said.