Jermaine Lamarr Cole, better known as J. Cole, is a new school rapper with an old school heart. The humble and gifted lyricist from Fayetteville, NC, has taken the music world by storm since the release of his debut mixtape, The Come Up, in 2007. With the release of his latest album, 2014 Forest Hills Drive, he has become the first rapper to be certified platinum (That’s 1 million albums sold, for those who thought we were referring to the fancy metal), without being featured on any other artist’s song. A very big feat for a rapper nowadays.
There is one collaboration J. Cole has contributed to, and that is with Switzerland-based fashion company, Bally. The two have joined forces to create an exclusive line of hiking boots and backpacks. Bally has been an expert craftsman in hiking boots since the 1950s, and their ‘urban explorer’-influenced collection is their latest project.
The hiking boots are crafted from supple leather, suede and or exotic python materials, and available in mustard, grey, bone, moka, cherry, tan caper and grey. The backpacks are water-resistant and designed to handle the needs of any explorer. J. Cole equally appreciates Bally’s quality stating, “I always had an interest in what goes into designing footwear. Fortunately, the opportunity presented itself and I got the chance to work with such a well-respected brand with a long history of making product of the highest quality. When I learned more about the company’s past and was able to see their archives of boots going back over a 100 years, it excited me even more.”
J. Cole has proven over and again that he is a rare artist of a fleeting breed of artists, influencing the masses in a genuine way each time he grabs a mic and now, through fashion.
Story By: Jasmine Sabagquit
Images By: J. Cole, Bally