Arts | Entertainment | Sports 2023: PHARRELL WILLIAMS
ENTERTAINER, PRODUCER AND DEVELOPER, PARIS*
* EDITOR’S NOTE: Since this entry was written, Williams has moved with his family to Paris, where Louis Vuitton’s corporate headquarters is located. He previously had dual homes in Virginia Beach and Miami.
Williams made a worldwide splash in June when the 13-time Grammy winner debuted his first fashion collection as men’s creative director for Louis Vuitton. It included references to the Virginia Beach native’s alma mater, Princess Anne High School, and the state’s slogan, “Virginia is for Lovers.”
In April, the music superstar returned his Something in the Water music festival to his hometown, although stormy weather played havoc with the schedule. (First held at Virginia Beach in 2019, SITW moved to Washington, D.C., in 2022 after Williams expressed his displeasure with how the city government handled the 2021 police killing of his cousin.)
Meanwhile, in March, crews broke ground on Atlantic Park, the $335 million mixed-use Oceanfront surf park Williams is co developing with Venture Realty Group. Progress has stalled, however, on the partnership’s proposed $1.1 billion Wellness Circle redevelopment of Norfolk’s Military Circle Mall. The development is still under negotiation with the city, but demolition of the mall began in April.
Williams also hosted the three-day Mighty Dream forum in Norfolk in November 2022, focusing on entrepreneurship, innovation, equity and inclusion, with featured speakers from H&M Group, Google and UPS.