Chart-top star J Balvin, whose jam “Mi Gente” (remixed with Beyoncé) made him one of the most listened to musicians on the planet, is a matter of choice – from collaborators of pop artists to various images tattooed on her body.
So it seemed fitting that arriving for the FN cover photo shoot last week, the Colombian crooner wanted a greater selection than the styles readily available from Greats, Adidas, Mike Amiri and others – and even an exclusive look. on a fall Nike Air Force. 1 Hi. (Artist Andres Hurtado used a Sharpie to personalize the sneakers with recreations of Balvin’s tattoos.)
In fact, the Latin music sensation, whose latest album, “Vibras”, released on May 25, showed up with a locked silver suitcase full of his own shoes for even more choice.
The heavily tattooed singer has a collection of kicks that sneaker fanatics drool over, including Customs from The Shoe Surgeon, Virgil Abloh’s version of Air Jordan 1 of Nike’s “The Ten” and the ultrarare. Pharrell x Chanel x Adidas Hu NMD.
The 33-year-old, whose real name is José Álvaro Osorio Balvin, is arguably one of the most stylish men in the music world today.
“I love that he takes risks in his fit choices. Not many people can look like him,” said Franklin Cooker, designer at Jordan NRG. “I like his style because it has an edge. fun, which I find refreshing. Bringing fun back into fashion makes it very important to this industry.
Here, Balvin explains why his own sneaker collaboration with Nike may be in the works, the story behind his tattoos and fashion idols.
How do sneakers influence your style?
“Sometimes I take off the jacket and go down, and sometimes I take off the sneakers and go up. Or sometimes it’s like anything. When I was a kid the shirt had to match the sneakers and things like that. It’s not me anymore. The best part of the day is when I put that on with that, and sometimes I’m right and sometimes not, but I feel cool.
You are often at Nike. What other brands do you wear?
“Right now there is a lot of hype about Balenciaga, but I loved Balenciaga even before all that hype happened. Chanel sneakers are still on fire, and I learned that from Mike [‘Upscale Vandal’ Camargo]. I remember seeing the sneakers for the first time, and they looked like Nike or Adidas or something, and I was like, “What is this? Sometimes they’re very low key – you don’t know what it is. It could be Vans, but it isn’t; it’s Chanel. I like the low key but trendy things they have.
What can you tell us about your next one Collaboration with Nike?
“We are talking right now, but there is nothing official. It’s one of my dreams, to have an official collaboration with Nike and to be the first Latino in music to do this type of collaboration.
When did you start getting a tattoo?
“My first tattoo took place when I was 12 years old. I told my mom I was getting a tattoo, and she said ‘Yeah, go ahead’, but she thought I was joking. I went to get a tribal, the one everyone has, on my arm.
What do your tattoos mean to you?
“I get a tattoo because I love them, and there is nothing deeper than seeking my happiness and getting what I want in order to be happy. The only one that has meaning is ‘Familia’ [on my chest]. The others are just because I love them – Mickey Mouse, Mario Bros. It’s 2018; if you want to get a Nike Swoosh just get it or Adidas. Whatever you want to get, do it.
Talk about your new album, “Vibras”.
“It means ‘vibes,’ and it is about that – vibrations. Even though people don’t understand what I’m saying, our music is getting so global that you can’t deny it. With this album, we prove to the world that we are no wonder. We show that the Spanish language and Latin culture are exploding. Latinos, we might not be as popular or famous, and I don’t think I’m famous, but now we have some recognition to help us move our culture forward.
Don’t you consider yourself famous?
“I feel like a new artist, a promising artist every day. I have a lot of dreams, so I never feel like I’ve succeeded. I always look forward to it.
You are about to embark on a world tour. Do you pack specific sneakers for travel and others for when you go on stage?
“It’s all about the mood. Of course, some sneakers are more comfortable for traveling, like Air Forces or Air Maxes and Prestos. But it depends on the mood. [And onstage] it’s about the outfit. Sometimes it’s designer sneakers from my boy Mike Amiri or Balenciagas or Chanel.
How many pairs do you bring on tour?
“A couple. But I’m blessed that every time we come to a place we receive so much love. If we fly with 10 sneakers, we come home with around 50.”
Has traveling around the world influenced your style?
“I learn about different cultures every day. When I’m in Paris or Latin America, I get inspired by watching everyone and how they rock sneakers. Even here in New York. But my style is pretty much the same. Nike has always been classic. When I was a kid I wore Air Force 1s and Jordan 1s, and it’s amazing how classic this shape has become and always will be.
Which country has the best sneaker culture?
“The United States is the most remarkable, for sure. [But] I don’t know Japan because I haven’t been there yet. We will be in Japan this year.
Do people in Colombia wear the same things like in the USA?
“It’s basically the same thing. With the Internet, the world is smaller than ever. Children are super up to date as long as they have a cell phone in their hands.
From all sneaker collectors, including the closet would you like to loot?
“[Camargo] crazy. The other is DJ Clark Kent; his collection is crazy too. And my manager, Fabio Acosta, too. He has a lot of sneakers.
What do you wear when you’re not in sneakers?
“I’m in boots. I go with Timberlands and Chelseas from St. Laurent or Mike Amiri.
Who are your style icons?
“Pharrell Williams. And Jared Leto – he does whatever he wants and it looks cool and effortless. He shoots things that no one can shoot. David Beckham’s style is impeccable. He’s like a Testarossa. , it’s a classic.Everything he puts on will always look like fire.
Have you ever talked about fashion with Pharrell, anyone did you work with it a lot?
“Of course. He’s my father; I’m his son when it comes to this. He will always be a trailblazer. Every time I see him, I say, ‘Give me information. I want to learn.’ “
Do you consider yourself a modern fashion icon?
“No, I think it’s a process. In the same way it took me to become an artist, it’s the same with fashion or style. You have to earn respect, and that comes with time.
See more images from FN’s photoshoot with J Balvin and watch the video below.
Styled by Shannon Adducci
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