words & opinion by Creighton Phillips
With Influencers playing a major role in sneaker and apparel sales, there’s an influx of artists who could garner the appeal to take a storied brand to the next level. Here are a few suggestions of some of my favorite artists that could catapult a brand to new heights.
Frank Ocean has had a mystique that rivals some of the greatest artists of the previous generations. Waiting roughly five years to bring his latest works to the graces of his fans, Ocean’s ENDLESS visual album, inspired by the works of two time Nike collaborator Tom Sachs, and Blonde were both masterpieces in their own right. Appearing at festivals this year wearing JW Anderson Converse sneakers and Virgil Abloh’s Nike x Off-White Prestos could only make one wonder why is it that the guy who has crafted modern R&B masterpieces has evaded the spotlight of a sneaker collaboration? Could it be saturation or is it that the best is yet to come? We’re hoping for the latter from fans of the Blonded crooner. We all really want a pair of NIKES from this guy.
Another songwriter extraordinaire in need of a sneaker cosign from fans of the artist is none other than bluesy Archy Marshall, also known as King Krule. With albums like 6 Feet Beneath The Moon, A New Place 2 Drown, and his most recent offering The Ooz, Krule could fare well in the UK with a collaboration along the lines of what Skepta was able to accomplish with the Swoosh. The Zoo Kid himself could get a pair that resembles something of a JD Sports collaboration/exclusive, which would resonate pretty well with fans of the young artist and trainers alike. Think like what Wale did with Villa in the US only overseas. What better way to go out and get ribs than with a pair of Archy Marshall’s?
Lil Uzi Vert
Next on the list of Influencers deserving a pair to represent their stylistic impact would be the enigmatic Lil Uzi Vert. After a slew of mixtapes and a gold charting debut album in Luv is Rage 2, the “XO Tour Llif3” rapper is ready to be endorsed by the major brands he so comfortably sports. Whether it be with the Three Stripes or Nike, Uzi has been on the cusp of snatching the title for the most stylish young artist in the music industry. After having an album cover designed by
Off-White and being seeded some of the most coveted pairs of the Virgil Abloh x Nike collaboration, Uzi is ready to take it vertical. With major brand backing — perhaps that of Off-White itself — the rapper with the most stage presence not named Travis Scott could now do what he really wants: stunt.
Solange has been on a tear artistically and style wise, and there aren’t many women in the industry or everyday life that could match her. With sold out shows at the Guggenheim and Radio City Music Hall, Solo has been ready to follow up her earliest endorsement with Puma. After seeing other performance artists like FKA Twigs and frequent collaborator Dev Hynes getting their just due from the likes of Nike and Adidas respectively, it’s a toss up with who could be the most fitting outfitter for the “MAD” and “F.U.B.U.” songstress. It’s about time for Solange to get another seat at the Influencers table in my opinion, and what better brand to outfit her head-to-toe than adidas?
What better way to end an opinion piece about Influencers ready for endorsement than Ms. Ivy Park herself, Queen Beyoncé. After a career that rivals some of the greatest entertainers ever, Beyoncé is more than ready to be outfitted by a brand like Nike, specifically NikeLab. Pair her star power with the innovation of NikeLab and give Ivy Park the same backing that the YEEZY imprint has gotten from adi and watch the brands simultaneously flourish. Just think about the great strides that Rihanna’s Fenty line has made with Puma and imagine the platform that Nike could provide for Bey. It’ll definitely be one that won’t plateau. It’s a party indeed.