When the first images of bright yellow sneakers from Pharrell’s NMD Adidas collaboration collection, bearing the words “Human Race,” first appeared online, the singer understandably drew a few side eyes. In a world where police brutality against people of African descent is becoming a global conversation, a message of universality in terms of race and the human experience might ring hollow, to say the least. Plus, we’re talking about the same man who gave us the phrase “new black.”
It turns out that Pharrell enlisted members of North Dakota’s MHA Nation to model the collection, titled “Hu.” As with past collections, while sneakers play a central part, we also have activewear separates and jackets in a variety of coordinating colorways.
‘Hu is short for human – human being, human race, humankind,’ said Pharrell. ‘But Hu, itself is also a reference to color. As human beings, we all have a color. We all look different, we all speak different languages, but we’re all connected.’ Pharrell Williams
Building on the limited-edition NMD that launched in July, Pharrell and adidas Originals return with Hu, a diverse range of full-color footwear and dynamic activewear. Celebrating a spirit of equality, acceptance, co-existence and understanding, the collection features flags, stripes, and translations of the phrase “Human Race” in English, French, and Japanese. Pharrell sums up the collection’s message simply:
‘I play for the human race.’
With the launch of Hu, Pharrell looks to shine a spotlight on communities around the world, sharing stories and traditions of humanity. In this first collection Native Americans from North Dakota invited Pharrell into their community to share their stories of compassion and culture, carrying on traditions of language, prayer, celebration and knowledge from one generation to the next.
‘I am so thankful to the people of MHA Nation who shared their journey and experiences with me. I want to use my platform for people to tell their stories and help empower people no matter where they’re from. By understanding humanity’s past, we will build a bridge to its future.’ Pharrell Williams
Hu will be available at select retailers and online tomorrow.