Advertisement

From Donald Trump’s $366 golden trainers to Air Jordan: celebrities who hawk signature shoes

Beyoncé on top of dozens of pairs of sneakers as she teases her new Ivy Park range in collaboration with Adidas in November 2020 (instagram)
Beyoncé on top of dozens of pairs of sneakers as she teases her new Ivy Park range in collaboration with Adidas in November 2020 (instagram)

Celebrities have frequently entered the business world while pursuing their vocations. One of their most successful ventures has been shoe lines, which sell millions of pounds annually.

Donald Trump is the latest high-profile person to put his best (hopefully) foot forward and enter the shoe game. The 2024 US presidential candidate and former president, apparently not satisfied with his video game, steak line and trademark baseball cap, launched his basketball-inspired footwear at Sneaker Con in Philadelphia last week.

The shoes have no connection to Trump's bid for re-election as president. Instead, they will be sold alongside his brand merchandise.

So what well-known and surprising celebrity shoe launches have there been?

Here’s your ultimate guide.

Donald Trump and Never Surrender

A day after a New York judge sentenced him to pay $354.9 million (£280m) in penalties for falsely misrepresenting his net worth to deceive lenders, Trump introduced his line of trainers on February 18.

The shoes, called Never Surrender High-Tops, are priced at $399 (£316) on a new website. They are glossy, gold high-top shoes with an American flag accent on the back.

Kanye West and Yeezy

Well-known for his passion for style, rapper Kanye West first introduced the Nike Yeezy shoes in 2009 after working with Louis Vuitton on a shoe line.

Following several disagreements, West moved to Adidas in 2015 and built a company empire that made him a billionaire. His shoe brand exceeded $1.5 billion (£1bn) in revenue in 2019 and accounted for 10 per cent of Adidas' yearly revenue.

Kanye says Adidas created Yeezy  Day without his approval. (Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for ADIDAS)
Kanye says Adidas created Yeezy Day without his approval. (Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for ADIDAS)

In addition to footwear, the Yeezy brand expanded to include apparel collections, featuring clothing items such as hoodies, jackets, and athleisure wear.

However, in 2023, the German brand said it was cutting ties with the rapper and donating some of its partnership’s money to charity after West’s antisemitic remarks.

Beyoncé and Adidas

Beyoncé’s athleisure brand Ivy Park began a partnership with Adidas in 2019, with the singer becoming a creative partner. Adidas's stock increased by 1.5 per cent following the announcement of the move.

In addition to her collaboration with Adidas, the singer has been known to wear and endorse various footwear brands and styles in her public appearances, music videos, and performances. Her footwear choices often reflect her versatility and ability to seamlessly blend high fashion with streetwear and athletic influences.

Beyoncé's influence in the fashion world extends beyond just footwear, as she's also known for her collaborations with luxury fashion houses and her fashion line House of Deréon (co-founded with her mother Tina Knowles).

Serena Williams and Nike

Tennis legend Serena Williams in 2022 joined forces with Nike to create a purple Nike Air Force 1 called Lapis.

The 23-time grand slam champion, who retired in September 2022, has also co-founded her Serena Williams Design Team. This focuses on creating innovative and stylish designs across various categories, including fashion and footwear.

Serena Williams has enjoyed success off the court with her fashion and footwear designs (AFP via Getty Images)
Serena Williams has enjoyed success off the court with her fashion and footwear designs (AFP via Getty Images)

Furthermore, Williams has collaborated with Off-White, a luxury fashion label founded by Virgil Abloh, who was also the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear at the time. This collaboration resulted in a three-way collection involving Serena Williams, Off-White, and Nike, showcasing the intersection of sports, fashion, and design.

Michael Jordan and Nike

It would be remiss to discuss celebrity footwear partnerships without mentioning basketball icon Michael Jordan. On October 26, 1984, Jordan signed a five-year contract worth $2.5m (£2m) with Nike, the largest contract in the National Basketball Association (NBA) at the time.

The first Air Jordan shoe, the Air Jordan 1, was released in 1985.

The first Air Jordan shoe, the Air Jordan 1, was released in 1985 (Sotheby's VIA REUTES)
The first Air Jordan shoe, the Air Jordan 1, was released in 1985 (Sotheby's VIA REUTES)

The Air Jordan line became more than just a basketball shoe; it became a cultural phenomenon, influencing fashion and popular culture around the world.

Jordan's partnership with Nike has endured for decades, with new Air Jordan models released regularly. The brand remains highly sought after by collectors and fans of both sports and fashion.

Cardi B and Reebok

Cardi B, the Grammy-winning rapper, collaborated with Reebok, the athletic footwear and apparel company, on a partnership that included a signature collection of shoes and apparel. The collaboration was announced in November 2018.

The partnership aimed to merge Cardi B's bold and vibrant style with Reebok's heritage as a brand known for its athletic and streetwear-inspired designs. The collaboration produced a collection of footwear and apparel items that reflected Cardi B's personality and fashion sense.

One notable release from the Cardi B x Reebok collaboration was the Club C sneaker, which received a makeover with bold colorways and unique design elements. The collection also included apparel items such as tracksuits and crop tops, all featuring Cardi B's distinctive flair.