Jay-Z is one of the richest men in the music industry. Last year Forbes reported that he has an estimated wealth of more than $1 billion (add Beyoncé’s net worth to the equation and you’ve got the richest duo in the biz), largely thanks to his deep backlog of hits, investments in Roc Nation, and the sale of his Armand De Brignac champagne brand to LVMH in February 2021.
Naturally, you’d expect Jay-Z to have a wardrobe full of pieces that reflect his success. He was the first person to rock Patek Philippe’s link-up with Tiffany, and he has a fine collection of one-of-a-kind Rolex timepieces and Jacob & Co. wristgear. Hov owns sharply-cut suits from Dries Van Noten, Givenchy, and Alexander McQueen, to name a few, while his daywear tends to comes from burgeoning luxury label Rhude.
On the flip side, Jay-Z also has a penchant for budget-friendly sneakers that you needn’t have sold over 50 million records to get your hands on. Case in point: earlier this week, the rapper attended the 2022 NBA Finals in Los Angeles in a pair of Puma sneakers at an affordable price point. While his daughter Blue Ivy slipped into a pair of ultra-hyped black and white “Panda” Nike Dunks, Jay-Z sported what appears to be an updated pair of Puma’s Ralph Sampson LO perforated sneaks.
Simple in design, the sneakers were released earlier this year and are inspired by the footwear of former ’80s basketball star Ralph Sampson. His signature scrawl sits on the outer, while the sneakers have breathable holes across the upper and Puma’s signature curved appliquéd detailing at the rear. (The sneakers originally retailed for $65, with some sites selling them for as little $30.)
While he might have a billi in the bank, it’s not hugely surprising that Jay-Z is championing a pair of Puma’s sneakers. Over the past couple of years he has been quietly working in the background as Puma’s creative director of basketball. Consequently he’s traded in the Nike x Supreme sneaks of his 4:44 days, opting for multiple Puma shoes instead.
Sadly, the pair he wore this week are no longer available (though we half expect Puma to give them a re-release off the strength of his endorsement), but there’s plenty of near-identical alternatives you can still get your hands on.
This story was originally published on British GQ with the headline, “Jay-Z’s summer flex? Budget-friendly Puma sneakers”.