The Weeknd is many things: a 27-year-old Canadian man named Abel Tesfaye, which isn’t as easy to pronounce as “The Weeknd,” even with the missing e; a multi-platinum R&B superstar with three number-one Billboard Hot 100 hits under his belt, including “Can’t Feel My Face” and “Starboy”; the rumored paramour of fellow popstar Selena Gomez; and a guy who used to have much more confusing hair.
The Weeknd, as it turns out, is also an ambassador for Puma and partnered with the athletic apparel company to create his first-ever signature shoe, the “Parallel,” revealed this week via a photo shoot by Derek Wood Even though he should’ve stayed consistent with his brand and named it the “Paralll,” the high-top sneaker is a subtle yet stylish play on the popular military boot.
Compared to Kanye West’s similar Yeezy Season 5 boots, which can fetch in the neighborhood of $1,000, The Weeknd’s kicks come with a price tag that’s much easier to stomach: $220. The first colorways (olive, white and grey) hit high-end retailers like Kith, Barneys and The Webster on August 24.
The Weeknd officially unveiled the Parallels, which he and PUMA have been working on for close to a year, in an exclusive interview and gallery with Footwear News. The Q+A is pretty ho-hum until the Grammy winner unveils his ambitious, probably unrealistic plans for the kicks. When presented with the question of whom he would most like to see wear his shoes, here’s how The Weeknd answered. I’d like to break down his response, line by line.
“To be honest, I just want to see everyone wearing it.”
That’s fair. It’s nice to have goals. If I ever made something I was proud of, I’d want as many people as possible to engage with it, too.
“I want it to be a part of pop culture.”
Sure, why not. Since The Weeknd is an established part of pop culture, it’s reasonable to think he could parlay his considerable fame into an omnipresent shoe line, a la Kanye.
“I want to walk down the street and see kids wearing it and women wearing it.”
I honestly have no idea what kind of shoes kids and women wear these days—Skechers?—so I assume this is not outside the realm of possibility.
“I want to see the Pope wearing it.”
This is probably outside the realm of possibility.
“I want to see Obama wearing it.”
B.O. is by far the coolest president in U.S. history, so I can’t completely rule out this scenario, but The Weeknd, my dude, I have to say this one is pretty unlikely. Aim a little lower.
“I want to see Elon Musk wearing it.”
Guarantee you, Elon already owns a pair.