The Weeknd Designs a New Sneaker with Puma, Says He Really Hopes to See the Pope and Barack Obama Wearing It

The kicks will hit shelves August 24

We used to say a celeb really hasn’t made it big until they land a coveted ad campaign, but nowadays it’s not enough to star in a clothing campaign — they have to design the pieces themselves! Unlikely stars are getting into the fashion business through athletic lines (Josh Brolin), teaming up with established designers to launch their own collaborations (Gigi Hadid and Tommy Hilfiger) or producing street-style offshoots for cool athletic brands (Rihanna with Fenty x Puma). Now, it’s time to induct The Weeknd in to this superstar designer club because the first look at his own collaboration with Puma was just revealed.

The star first joined forces with the brand back in November as its creative collaborator on the “Run The Streets” campaign. But this time, he took things a step further by actually designing both shoes and apparel for the brand. After a year in the works, his “Parallel” shoe, a casual high-top available in all-white and olive will hit shelves on August 24 at fancy retailers like Kith, The Webster and Barneys for $220.

Derek Wood for Footwear News

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And his street-style-focused T-shirts, denim jackets and pants will launch shortly after. “I was involved in almost every aspect, but I was most focused on the silhouette,” The Weeknd told Footwear News about his design approach. “With XO and Puma, we really collaborated and worked on making the best product possible.”

Derek Wood for Footwear News

He said he’s not aspiring to create a brand like anyone else’s out there in the market, instead he’s focused on his customers. “Exclusivity is always important to me, and I will definitely do limited pieces and shoes with Puma,” he said. “But for this first one, I’d love it to go to the masses.”

And the first people he says he wants to see wearing his kicks include the Pope, Barack Obama and Elon Musk. “To be honest, I just want to see everyone wearing it. I want it to be part of pop culture.”

Derek Wood for Footwear News

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One reason he may just be able to attain that (OK, maybe not the Pope!) is because of his own personal aesthetic. “He’s stylish, but he’s also approachable,” said Adam Petrick, global director of brand and marketing at Puma. “He’s relatable and has a look that can be worn by a lot of young men. It’s not over-the-top or unattainable.”

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Derek Wood for Footwear News

And this is just the beginning. According to Petrick, more collabs with The Weeknd will launch in the fall and a new product is already geared for spring 2018. “And we’re optimistic that this is going to be a long-term partnership and that we’ll have the opportunity to evolve with The Weeknd as he creatively evolves.”

Considering how big he’s blowing up in the fashion industry (he just landed the Harper’s Bazaar September issue cover!) there are probably a lot more collections in his future.

What do you think of The Weeknd’ Puma sneaker?

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