Pharrell Williams has appeared on the cover of GQ's New Masculinity issue, in an oversized duvet coat/dress.
The issue, which is described as an exploration of identity, culture, and style in 2019, features in in-depth interview with the 46-year-old in which he opens up about the fact that the controversy around his hit single ‘Blurred Lines’ forced him to confront the fact that “we live in a chauvinist culture.”
The song, which Williams, produced and performed, alongside Robin Thicke and T.I topped the charts in 2013 and became the highest-selling song of the year, but the lyrics faced criticism with some deeming it misogynistic.
“Some of my old songs, I would never write or sing today,” he told GQ. “I get embarrassed by some of that stuff. It just took a lot of time and growth to get to that place.”
He said that track, in particular, “opened me up,” going on to explain that he initially did not understand the negative response to the song as he saw women enjoying the track and singing along to the lyrics.
“I didn’t get it at first. Because there were older white women who, when that song came on, they would behave in some of the most surprising ways ever. And I would be like, wow,” Williams explained.
But, he has since changed his mind after realising that similar language could be used “when taking advantage of a woman” and admitted that some of his songs “catered” to a “chauvinist culture.”
“And then I realised that there are men who use that same language when taking advantage of a woman, and it doesn’t matter that that’s not my behaviour,” he told the magazine. “Or the way I think about things.
“It just matters how it affects women. And I was like, ‘Got it. I get it. Cool.’
“I realised that we live in a chauvinist culture in our country. I hadn’t realised that,” he continued. “Didn’t realise that some of my songs catered to that. So that blew my mind.”
In images from the shoot, the producer showcased some of his fashion credentials.
From a mixed-patterned, multi-coloured jumper by Comme des Garçons, teamed with black and white striped Saint Laurent trousers and teal coloured Chanel loafers to a feather adorned mustard cardigan and green leather co-ord, the star proved he wasn’t afraid to push the style boundaries.
Earlier this year the father-of-four also made headlines after he met the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. At the premiere of the Lion King in London, the rapper and producer, briefly stopped to meet with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and after receiving compliments from the royals about his outfit, Williams proceeded to curtsy, hilariously pulling at his shorts in the process.
It was also reported that the duchess went on to confide in the singer about the strain of public life, as she was overheard telling Williams that “they don’t make it easy”.
"So happy for your union. Love is amazing. It's wonderful,” Pharrell said to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
"Don't ever take that for granted but what it means in today's climate, I just wanted to tell you it's so significant for so many of us. Seriously. We cheer you guys on."
Meghan looked humbled by Pharrell’s words and replied by saying: "Thank you, they don't make it easy."