Already being touted in some quarters as “a significant mark of style and culture [that will] define an era,” Joopiter promises to be unlike any premium-grade digital auction house the internet has ever seen. For starters, it’s being bankrolled and masterminded by Pharrell Williams: variously, of N.E.R.D.; The Neptunes; and Humanrace fame.
A prolific tastemaker, collector of “cultural artefacts,” and fashion designer (vis-à-vis multiple collaborations with Adidas and A Bathing Ape, and his own label Billionaire Boys Club) Pharrell has a wealth of experience in the world of entrepreneurial enterprise, having extended his own not-inconsiderable clout into avenues as diverse as skincare and premium liqueurs since the mid-2000s.
In order to drive anticipation around Joopiter, Pharrell has decided to make the platform’s inaugural sale one dedicated exclusively to items plucked from his personal collection. Entitled Son Of A Pharaoh, this non-thematic sale covers a substantial amount of very stylish ground: consisting of 52 lots all-up, spread across watches + jewellery; luggage; sneakers; and apparel.
Bidding is open to anybody who registers on Joopiter’s website, with the sale set to begin on Thursday, October 20th (EST). Until then, you can peruse the majority of what is being offered as part of Son Of A Pharaoh online: a truly wild selection that ranges in estimated value between three and six figures.
“I’ve just amassed so many things over the past 30 years,” said Pharrell in an interview with Robb Report earlier this week.
“I’ve held onto these things because they’ve continued to grow in value. The investment just tripled – if not more – but what am I doing? I’m not using this stuff. I’m not wearing [it].”
Amongst all the gear that Pharrell is putting up for sale, it’s unsurprising that the lots projected to incite the most ferocious bidding are of the iced out and/or horological variety. Notable highlights include an ultra-rare skeletonised variant of the Royal Oak perpetual calendar (Ref. 25636PT) that the award-winning rapper and producer wore in the music video for his 2004 banger ‘Frontin’; a custom-made chain by Jacob & Co, featuring more than 118 carats of white Asscher-cut diamonds; plus a gold Blackberry.
Any one of these would generate an impressive amount of buzz on its own, but together they chart the aesthetic evolution of one of hip-hop’s modern icons: a voice and creative force deserving of the same kudos as J Dilla and Timbaland.
Following the conclusion of the Son Of A Pharaoh sale, Pharrell has declared that his ultimate goal is to create a best-in-class platform, combining the “high-touch service” of a heritage auction house with a cultural footprint that captures the energy of modern collecting culture.
Accordingly, in the platform’s early days, the emphasis will be upon auctioning collectibles owned by artists and collaborators in Pharrell’s inner circle – can you imagine a Cartier-themed sell-off, curated by Tyler The Creator?! – with significant lots presented using narratively driven videos and imagery. An online merch store, evoking the tribal signaling of the MoMA gift shop, will also follow.