Pharrell × adidas Originals – "Pink Beach"

As Pharrell joins forces with adidas Originals to drop a new collection and video, we talk to the film’s director, Rob Kassabian.

If adidas Originals are the king of the collaboration, then Pharrell must be one of their most princely partners. From his special edition Stan Smiths and multicoloured Superstars, to his full ranges of apparel, Skateboard P repeatedly comes correct when he gets together with the German sportswear legends. And, unsurprisingly, his latest summer-ready collection Pink Beach is no less covetable than the rest of his pieces. Blending his love of dramatic, colourful design with adidas’ technological know-how and iconic stripes and logos, Pharrell serves up a range of bold, tripped out swimwear, t-shirts, shorts and other warm weather go-to pieces – all available right this second, might we add.

To showcase the collection, the ever visually minded Pharrell teamed up with seasoned director Rob Kassabian to produce a campaign video worthy of the care free party vibes of the clothing. Cue, “Pink Beach”: an idyllic looking short, filmed on a dreamscape island that’ll have you craving holidays on deserted beaches and cocktails made of coconut. Oh, and the collection itself (obviously). Naturally, we jumped at the chance to talk to Kassabian about his shooting process, the woes of weather trouble, and what it’s like to work with the eternally youthful one, Pharrell.

How did the collaboration between you and Pharrell/Adidas come about?

This is the 3rd project I’ve shot for Adidas. I’ve worked with the agency (Lloyd&Co.) for years and they approached me with this project after the other 2 Adidas projects had gone really well. It sounded great so I signed on.

What drew you to the project?

The concept was really interesting to me. We wanted to have the camera constantly moving through the models with the background of sky and water. I thought the visual contrasts of the sea and the sky and the models and the clothes could work really well. It was also great to get to meet and work with Viviane Sassen who shot the still campaign. I didn’t even know at first that the campaign was for Pharrell’s line, once I found that out I was totally stoked.

Talk to us about the ideas and the process behind the video?

The agency had the concept that the camera would be moving through the models as the models moved through the frame and that we would create this almost infinite zoom which would be heighten by mirroring some of the images in post-production. I think it worked out really well and the result has the feeling we were going for without being to over the top with the visual effects.

In terms of working alongside Pharrell, was he very involved with the process?

Pharrell was very involved in the process. All the creative decisions went through him.

How did the collaborative element work?

Every shoot is a collaboration from start to finish. The agency comes up with the vision and the idea and then I do my best to figure out the best way to realize that vision. Caroline, the Art Director from Lloyd&Co., and I worked together on set to craft the visuals into what you end up seeing on the screen. We were very lucky to have a great crew that worked really hard and get it done. We were shooting on a deserted island that was a 30 minute boat ride out to sea so literally everything had to be boated out and then boated back in when the weather made a turn for the worse. It was a tricky couple of days but I think we pulled it off pretty well.

Where does the name Pink Beach come from?

I think it’s more a feeling than an actual place.

You’ve done lots of fashion work before; how did this experience differ?

Well I’ve never shot on a deserted island before which was pretty cool but also added another layer of complexity and logistics. Also I have to say that it was really great working with all the talent on this shoot, they were really fantastic. Video can be tricky when you are used to stills and they all gave a lot of effort. They made my job easier than it could have been!

What can we expect next from you?

I’ve had a pretty busy Spring and have a lot of new fashion work coming out soon. I’ve also been trying to finish a documentary/ personal project that I have been working on for the last year or so for The New York Times. I hope to have that finished soon.

Pharrell x adidas Originals - "Pink Beach"

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