Like countless others, Skepta emerged from the widespread COVID-19 lockdowns with a little more and a little less. The time spent in isolation gave the 40-year-old the opportunity to paint – ‘Mama Goes to Market’, his first work of art, which sold for nearly US$100,000 via Sotheby’s – but also to reassessing her music career, fashion partnerships and legacy.
Skepta and Nike released two different sneakers throughout 2021, but it looks like their partnership has come to an end as British-Nigerian Grime MC recently signed a deal with PUMA. Although the partnership is technically between the German sportswear giant and Big Smoke Corporation, “a multifaceted creative collective specializing in music, film, fashion and entertainment founded by Joseph Adenuga,” as noted on Instagram, an official press release for resellers of the Skepta deal as a global ambassador “who will work with the brand to design products and run global marketing campaigns.”
“Together with PUMA, we can put our spin on it and create a new way of thinking about fashion and style,” Skepta said. “[I]It’s an honor to work with such a globally recognized brand that is both integrated and has a real understanding of youth and popular culture, but also understands the importance of partnerships and collaborations like this. We look forward to developing and creating new opportunities together for the next generation. »
Skepta and Nike seemed like the perfect match given the Swoosh’s relevance throughout the entertainer’s upbringing and professional career: Air Max sneakers and tracksuits were staples of the northern native’s wardrobe from London. A lack of creative control, however, appears to have caused a rift between leader Joseph Olaitan Adenuga Jr. and the Swoosh. With PUMA, however, Skepta is poised to expand not only its reach, but also those it believes in.
For more from the German sportswear institution, check out the Pokémon x PUMA collection launching November 12th.