Ah, for those fashion lovers, historians and cultural experts, you were not laughing when you saw Pharell walk down the red carpet in his hat at last night’s Grammy Awards; or maybe you were. There were so many comments, memes and posts about his hat. Within minutes of his appearance on the red carpet the big brown hat had it’s own Twitter handle @PharellHat. At the time of this writing the handle already had over 17,000 followers. Red carpet style is something that typically gets a whole lot of attention but this hat ended up with a life of its own. Fast food chain Arby’s even got in on the action saying, “Hey @Pharell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYS”
If anyone knows anything about Pharell, it’s that he’s an artist that is always pushing the boundaries of art in fashion, design and music. The opinion of others is hardly the top of his list. Wearing this hat was not only non-conventional, but it also brought so much attention to him that people almost forgot about the excitement of seeing other red carpet fashion. When asked about it Pharell told The Hollywood Reporter, “It’s a Vivienne Westwood Buffalo hat from when she was with Malcolm McLaren…It’s not vintage, I would’ve been really stylin’ if I had one from the 80s.”
Just like that he must have shut down all those people laughing who were questioning his sense of style. Not only was the hat an unexpected addition to his outfit, but it was also a moment to educate people about a moment in the history of fashion. This hat was actually created for Vivienne Westwood’s 1982/83 collections “Nostalgia of Mud” and the “Buffalo” collection. The design was sold in her very first store, The World’s End Shop, in London. The hat is still sold in her store and Pharrell purchased it a few years ago, according to one of Westwood’s reps.
Vivienne Westwood is a one of the most iconic designers during the punk era and was a major influence in fashion during the 1980s. She is one of the biggest players in the fashion business and represents the heart of British design and innovation. Her relevance in the fashion industry has not waned despite not necessarily being a household name like a ‘Calvin Klein’ or ‘Tommy Hilfiger’. Westwood is perhaps one of the most creative designers in the history of fashion and continues to design some of the most interesting collections.
Pharrell’s choice to wear this hat to the Grammy Awards is certainly going to have plenty of people who never heard of Vivienne Westwood, looking up her work. But for fashion insiders, Westwood, is already a legend in her own right.