The Weeknd is taking his collaboration with Puma one step further this week, with the label revealing that the artist, also known as Abel Tesfaye, has designed shoes and clothing for the lifestyle brand.
The Toronto-born rapper first began working with Puma in November when he was named a creative collaborator on their “Run The Streets” campaign.
On Monday, Tesfaye unveiled his high-top sneaker called “Parallel”, which hits luxury retailers such as Miami’s The Webster, New York City’s Kith, and Barney’s on August 24.
Sitting down for an interview with Footwear News, the rapper talked about target buyers. “I just want to see everyone wearing it. I want it to be part of pop culture. I want to walk down the street and see kids wearing it and women wearing it,” he told the publication. “I want to see the pope wearing it. I want to see [Barack] Obama wearing it. I want to see Elon Musk wearing it.”
The Weeknd also teased the next phase of his collection while touching upon the shoe’s musical connection. “I feel like the Puma shoe is a part of the ‘Starboy’ world. It’s the shoe Starboy would wear,” he continued. “We’re already evolving in the next phase of our collaboration, so I’m gonna keep that a secret.”
And as the conversation evolved from music to style and finally, fame, Tesfaye shed light on how he deals with Hollywood’s daily scrutiny. “I used to pay attention all the time; it would take over my life,” he said. “Any kind of criticism would ruin my day, but through the years, I’ve learned to accept it and know the difference between constructive criticism, hate and just plain trolling.”
On Sunday, The Weeknd headlined the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival, performing alongside other major acts such as Tegan and Sara, Zara Larsson, Alabama Shakes and Broken Social Scene. He resumes his Starboy: Legend of the Fall Tour on September 6.