Zimbabwean designers Tawanda Chiweshe and Nigel Matambo among the team that designed Pharrell Williams new auction platform, JOOPITER

Pharrell Williams to launch JOOPITER, a platform designed by late Virgil Abloh’s agency ALASKA ALASKA headed by Zimbabwe-born Tawanda Chiweshe

Pharrell Williams is auctioning off 52 personal artifacts on his new auction house platform, JOOPITER which was designed with the late Virgil Abloh’s London-based design firm ALASKA ALASKA run by Creative Director Tawanda Chiweshe a Zimbabwe-born and London-based designer who also worked as a design consultant for the late Virgil Abloh. 

Virgil Abloh’s London-based design firm ALASKA ALASKA run by Creative Director Tawanda Chiweshe a Zimbabwe-born and London-based designer
Tawanda Chiweshe

According to Vogue, Tawanda Chiweshe was backstage after Virgil Abloh’s first show as the artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear in 2018, crying and celebrating the designer’s biggest accomplishment. While it’s easy to get caught up in the hype and the fervour that comes with working with someone that is adored by so many young people, Tawanda chose to focus on the work, keeping a low social media profile and developing personal projects that will help define his design career. 

"I am incredibly lucky and privileged to have had the opportunity to call Virgil Abloh a friend, collaborator and mentor; eternally grateful for the profound ways he empowered and changed my life. I am one of the countless others to experience the same profound life-changing impact due to his generosity." reads Tawanda Chiweshe's eulogy to the late designer.

The Pharrell-founded platform JOOPITER’s first auction preview for Son of a Pharaoh consisting of a range of iconic and familiar pieces, including the “Women’s Rights” motorcycle jacket worn at the 2018 IHeartRadio Music Awards will be held October 14th and 15th from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m in SoHo, New York and will be open to the public by appointment.

“The idea behind JOOPITER is to embrace the energy that is released when objects change hands, and to respect the value that’s been created around these objects,” Pharrell said in a press release. “JOOPITER is a new platform for myself and for my fellow curators, one where existing and future generations of collectors can feel welcome to take part in this exchange,” said Pharrell in a story published by FT.

Another Zimbabwean-born designer, Nigel Matambo also worked on some augmented reality experiences for Pharrell that are available on the JOOPITER platform.

Check out this rare interview of Tawanda as he breaks down his design journey, creative process, thoughts on education and the importance of participation.

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Mungwadzi Godwin

twitterinstagramI like sharing positive stories about Zimbabweans at home and abroad. I also write articles on Personal Finance, Fashion, Music, and Tech. Let's connect!

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