Rihanna is set to release her first sneaker with Puma—an updated, streetwear-inspired version of '90s creepers that I immediately wanted to pair with a velour sweatsuit—on September 18th. But this earlier this week, the sneakers were available through a pre-sale on Puma's website and at a 3-day pop-up shop in New York City. The shoes sold out online in three hours, but when the pop-up shop opened at noon on Tuesday, there wasn't the expected long line, wrapped around the block with overzealous superfans that comes with most sneaker releases. It was surprisingly very chill: Free ice cream from Mikey Likes It, and after 5 p.m., complimentary champagne and D'Ussé cognac. It was very Rihanna.
"I actually thought there would be lots of people outside, which is why I told my mom to come with me so that I could get here early," said Chantal Jackson. "But, I'm excited about wearing my sneakers, I got two pairs." Another shopper, Alixandra Freedberg, came to buy herself a birthday present and was happy there wasn't a crazy line.
In fact, most of the people who I talked to (including the employees) were surprised that there wasn't a bigger turnout, though the shoes were selling out, in different sizes, gradually. But who really wants to wait in line for hours in the heat, fighting over sneakers, and leaving empty handed, anyway? Rihanna's sneaker release was how all sneaker releases should be. Today's the last day to experience the super-chill pop-up and buy the black-on-nude and nude-on-nude sneaker color ways, which won't be available until September 25th.
We took photos of some of the stylish shoppers at the Puma x Rihanna pop-up shop, some of whom wore their shoes out of the store. We also saw lots of camo print, Birkenstocks and pink.
Photographs by Winter Coleman.
Tahirah Hairston is a style writer from Detroit who likes Susan Miller, Rihanna's friend's Instagram accounts, ramen and ugly-but cute shoes.