For Tyga, landing a record deal given the current climate of the music industry was no big deal. While a recording contract may be the benchmark for others, the 23-year-old Young Money signee embarked on the next frontier – a shoe deal. Mission accomplished. Plotting to make his next move his best move, the multi-faceted artist took time out for a sit down with Nice Kicks to rap about his relationship with Reebok and the evolution of the T-Raww.
Nice Kicks: Discuss your relationship with Reebok, and why you chose to go with them.
Tyga: Reebok has been a brand ever since I was younger, and I was a big fan of AI (Allen Iverson). So, with me seeing the chemistry they had with Shaq, AI and Swizz got involved, it just made sense. It’s the culture – they really supported the culture. They let me design the T-Raww how I wanted to, and that’s why I really appreciate them.Swizz Beatz performing in the Reebok Shaq Attaq “Phoenix Suns”
Nice Kicks: What do you feel you’ve brought to the Reebok Classics brand?
Tyga: Youthfulness. For me, my peers, my fans, high school, college kids – I got [the brand] more in tune. [Reebok] has a lot of classic shoes that they did with players that many of us might not be up on. So, it’s good to have somebody new, that’s a trendsetter, to showcase that.
Nice Kicks: What are some things you’ve learned about the design process?
Tyga: Sometimes, when you get the samples back, everything is not always right, how you saw it when you first put it on paper. When you actually get it in your hand, there’s always a difference. It’s crazy because some of the samples, the colors that I did, they came out actually better than the artwork. So, when I really held them, I was like ‘this [expletive] is dope.’Tyga in the Reebok T-Raww “Sport Blue”
Nice Kicks: How much input did you have on designing the T-Raww?
Tyga: I flew out to the headquarters in Boston, and I was there the whole day, maybe 12 hours. I sat down with three designers at a big table, and we just went through different textures. I wanted to do crazy stuff, like all-gold boxes, but I was making my price point go higher, and I didn’t want the shoe to go over $100. So, we kept going back to the drawing board.
Nice Kicks: How did you find the balance of staying within a certain price point without limiting your creativity?
Tyga: On some of the materials, it’s about finding what’s close to it, because people don’t really know the difference. Most high-end brands use fake leather because leather is expensive and it’s not as comfortable as the ‘pleather’ that they use.