Jay-Z‘s Roc Nation and Puma have joined forces to create a new sneaker collection that incorporates non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The entertainment agency and the apparel giant have partnered with Legitimate, a startup that bridges the gap between physical and digital realms using its proprietary “LGT Tag” technology, to launch the RS-XL Mixtape sneaker collection, according to a Friday press release.
The collection consists of three mixtape-inspired sneaker styles: Cassette Tape, Disc, and Playlist. Each pair of sneakers contains a unique blockchain-backed LGT Tag concealed under the tongue of the left shoe.
This near-field communication (NFC) chip can be scanned with a smartphone to unlock exclusive digital content.
Additionally, each NFC chip is linked to an NFT minted by Legitimate through the Avalanche blockchain. These NFT-linked LGT Tags can also authenticate physical products, including sneakers and other apparel.
Buyers of the RS-XL Mixtape sneakers will gain access to weekly mixtape drops, a 14-track playlist featuring unreleased music from upcoming Roc Nation artists, and “unfettered access to life behind the scenes as a Roc Nation artist.”
Notably, Roc Nation’s roster currently includes DJ Khaled, Alicia Keys, Fever 333, and Rihanna. Owners of the sneakers will also receive a new documentary on the history of hip-hop.
Puma has stated that the release of the Mixtape collection aligns with this year’s broader celebration of 50 years of hip-hop.
The RS-XL Mixtape sneakers Are Available For $130
The collection is available for purchase online or in-store at Puma, Foot Locker, and Champs North American stores for $130 per pair.
Legitimate’s founder and CEO, Calvin Chan, emphasized that the collaboration showcases the startup’s belief that blockchain technology does not need to be explicitly mentioned in its products.
“This collaboration is the first time in history that brands of this caliber are leveraging next-generation technology to do more than just sell a product. Collectively, we’re helping tell a story, elevate creators’ voices, and celebrate a movement that has captivated the world for half a century.”
In June, Puma collaborated with NBA star LaMelo Ball and the NFT project Gutter Cat Gang to release a sneaker-based collection.
Through the collaboration, customers could purchase an NFT from the OpenSea marketplace and subsequently exchange it for a physical pair of sneakers.
Likewise, luxury fashion house Dior unveiled a new line of men’s sneakers that leverages the Ethereum blockchain to offer a matching NFT last month.
The sneakers, called the B33, are part of Dior’s Men’s Fall 2023 collection and were designed by Dior Menswear artistic director Kim Jones, the company said in a Friday tweet.
What sets these sneakers apart is their unique online authentication system and accompanying NFT. Each pair of shoes will be linked to a “digital twin,” a matching NFT minted on the Ethereum blockchain.