Pharrell Williams' Swarovski Adidas: The Story Behind the 1600-Crystal Luxury Sneakers

Pharrell's Swarovski shoes
Courtesy of Swarovski

Pharrell's Swarovski shoes

Pharrell Williams has spent the last three months either leading the pack, as he’s done on the Hot 100 with his chart-topping anthem “Happy,” or standing out in the fashion world as he did with his attention grabbing Vivienne Westwood buffalo hat that made its mainstream debut at the 2014 Grammys in January.

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Recently, it has been what’s on Pharrell’s feet that has been turning heads: crystal-adorned Adidas sneakers custom made by Austrian lux house Swarovski.  The eye-catching kicks made their debut during Pharrell’s “Saturday Night Live” performance on Saturday (April 5) and then again during his “Good Morning America” performance Monday (April 7).

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The story behind them is more than Adidas pairing with Swarovski to create. Pharrell reached out to the crystal brand himself after being enthused by another design he saw elsewhere.

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“Pharrell was inspired when he saw a pair of our crystallized platform shoes and he wanted to recreate the effect by customizing his Stan Smith [Adidas] sneakers,” a Swarovski spokesperson tells Billboard.  “He handpicked the size, shape and color of the crystals he was looking for and worked with our creative team to bring his idea to life.”

“Using over 1600 crystals in a variety of 15 shapes and sizes,” they add, “It took over 10 hours to hand-apply the crystals to create the effect he was looking for, and they’re totally unique. We couldn’t put a price to them.”

There's a chance Williams may have started a trend. The one-of-one sneakers are getting “an amazing response,” notes the rep. “Everybody wants a pair.” As for whether Pharrell and Swarovski will collab again soon, nothing’s in stone. But the spokesperson says, “We would love to work with him in the future.”

This isn't the first time Williams has worked with Swarovski. Just last year he produced music for their Fall 2013 TV ad starring model Miranda Kerr.


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