Like countless others, Skepta emerged out of the widespread COVID-19-related lockdowns with a few more and a few less things. Time in isolation granted the 40-year-old an opportunity to paint – “Mama Goes to Market,” his debut artwork, sold for nearly $100,000 USD via Sotheby’s – but also reassess his music careers, fashion partnerships and legacy.
Skepta and Nike released two different sneakers throughout 2021, but it seems their partnership has come to an end as the British-Nigerian Grime M.C. recently signed a deal with PUMA. Although the partnership is technically between the German sportswear behemoth and Big Smoke Corporation, “A Multi-faceted Creative Collective Specialising in Music, Film, Fashion and Entertainment founded by Joseph Adenuga,” as stated on Instagram, an official press release for the deal touts Skepta as a global ambassador “who will work with the brand to design product and curate global marketing campaigns.”
“Together with PUMA we can put our spin and create a new way of thinking about fashion and style,” said Skepta. “[I]t’s an honour to work with such a globally recognized brand that is both embedded and has a real understanding of youth and popular culture, but also understands the importance of partnerships and collaborations such as this. We look forward to developing and creating new opportunities for the next generation together.”
Skepta and Nike seemed like the perfect match given the Swoosh’s relevance throughout the artist’s upbringing and professional career: Air Max trainers and tracksuits were staples within the North London-native’s wardrobe. A lack of creative control, however, seems to have caused a rift between Chief Joseph Olaitan Adenuga Jr. and the Swoosh. With PUMA, however, Skepta is poised to expand not only his reach, but those in whom he believes.
For more from the German sportswear institution, check out the Pokémon x PUMA collection launching on November 12th.