Tech

Letter from the Editor-in-Chief: Introducing Pharrell Williams and "The Makers" of 2013


I was never a tinkerer. I didn't build models or enter the science fair or obsess about what was under the hood of my first car. I wasn't a Nintendo nerd or a Boy Scout or an indie-rock wannabe. And I was all thumbs when it came to Legos.

I was creative, I guess, but I was never really a creator, at least not in the literal sense. I was never even the greatest writer, as this letter no doubt confirms. So I've more than made up for it by surrounding myself with creators—the men and women who build this magazine idea by idea, page by page, issue by issue. There are too many people to mention in this space, but, by way of example, the font [in the magazine] was designed exclusively for Details, as was the magazine's logo, by a creator 13 years ago. The photo on the cover of this issue was shot by an extraordinary creator, the incomparable Mark Seliger. The pages were all written, edited, and designed by creators, pretty masterful ones at that.

Take senior editor James Gaddy. Jim is one of the editors charged with building our Know + Tell section, wading through an endless stream of pendant lamps and buzzy boutique hotels along with the latest much-touted variations on deviled eggs and house-cured meats. He, like the rest of us here at Details, serves as a filter for the reader, carefully selecting what makes it onto these pages. So if you like Carlo Contin's sexy new sling chair, it's because Jim thought you might and chose to include it on the Design page in the section.

For this issue, in addition to his usual curatorial duties, Jim was tasked with overseeing our annual "The Makers" package, where we showcase some of the most visionary creators working today. There's the Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, whose elegant latticed Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London made a visit there a must this summer. And Bre Pettis, the cofounder and CEO of MakerBot, the Brooklyn-based company bringing 3-D printing to desktops around the world. (Pettis and his team at MakerBot fabricated the M logo that opens "The Makers," and you can see it being made in the photo above.) Or how about perfumer Yann Vasnier, who works with a team of chemists to make some of the most successful perfumes and colognes in the world? And there's Hugh Herr, who, after losing both legs below the knee in a rock-climbing accident at 17, went on to become a pioneer in the advancement of prosthetic limbs.

And, of course, there's the great Pharrell Williams, who, in addition to performing on two of this past summer's hottest tracks—Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" and Daft Punk's "Get Lucky"—produces fashion, art, furniture, and textiles, all while being one of the most sought-after music producers working today.

"You're just an observer, and your job is like a stenographer—you're capturing things," Williams says. "I'm a recording artist in all I do."

And I bet he's a whiz with Legos.

The October 2013 issue is on newsstands now. Subscribe and never miss an issue.

—Details' editor-in-chief Daniel Peres

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Also on Details.com:
Letter from the Editor-in-Chief: A Suit (Literally) Fit For a King
Meet the New Rock Stars of Real Estate
Thin Is In: The Newest Trend in Furniture

Photograph by Tom Schierlitz
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