Over Jay-Z’s 20-plus year career as a rapper and business mogul, the footwear choice most fans associate with the rapper are probably hip-hop style classics like Timberland Boots and Nike Air Force 1s.
But recently, whether en route to a Soul Cycle class or on stage, the 47-year-old formerly known as Jay Z has been spotted rocking a single sneaker brand over all others: Puma.
Then, last night, Jay’s even famous-er wife Beyoncé took to Instagram and teased what looked to be an official Jay-Z x Puma sneaker, adding to the suspicion that her husband has some sort of official partnership with the German sportswear brand.
The collaboration wouldn’t exactly come out of absolutely nowhere: as the Puma logo was present on the artwork for Roc Nation’s announcement of 4:44 back on July 9th, lumped in with promotional partners like Sprint and Jay’s own Tidal.
The kicks themselves appear to be an untreated leather version of Puma’s classic Suede or Clyde models and in that regard look a bit like the classic sneakers-turned-art-level grails from Japanese label Hender Scheme.
The shoes feature the album’s track listing on the insole of the left shoe, with the album cover on the insole of the right shoe. Most noteworthy: Queen B’s pair have 1:44 printed on the side towards the heel, which some have speculated means they are one of only 44 pairs.
Previous leaked images of the sneakers also indicate the kicks come with 4:44 printed on the heel. Rest assured: there will be no mistaking which album the shoes are meant to promote.
Assuming this partnership does come to fruition and that it includes more than one 44-pair run of sneakers, this would be a huge win for Puma in an insanely competitive, wildly overcrowded sneaker market.
This year, Puma has already signed collaborative deals with The Weeknd, Kylie Jenner, and Big Sean, but Jay-Z would add a whole new level of celebrity to their roster.
Jay-Z might not be the fashion icon like his one-time-protegé-turned-frenemy Kanye West is, but he’s one hell of a business man and adding someone with his level of clout would be a big deal for Puma. Stay tuned for further details about this exciting potential partnership.