J. Cole was on hand Wednesday with the CEO of Bally Americas, Claudia Cividino, to celebrate the J. Cole for Bally collaboration with the premiere screening of the campaign video, “Off the Grid,” at the Norwood Club in New York City . The collection brings an exclusive pair of hiking boots and backpack in a range of colors and materials.
“This is a high honor. And I’m so not high fashion, so that’s why this is a huge honor that [Bally] would even reach out,” said J. Cole. “Before I really knew about luxury brands, I knew the name Bally, and I knew in the hip-hop world this was something that Biggie was rockin’, Nas was rappin’ and even before that, Rakim, so it’s cool to be in that lineage.”
For the creation of the limited-edition fall ’15 boots, J. Cole sat with design director Pablo Coppola in London for what he describes as a peek into the design world. The rapper was able to flip through Bally archives from years past. About the final product, Cole said, “They fall right in line with the heritage, like Biggie would have rocked these boots. I could see that.”
The video, directed by Maxim Bohichik of BBGUN, features J. Cole in Jamaica connecting with his surroundings. The rapper was first struck with the idea of going to Jamaica to shoot the film after seeing a poster of Bob Marley wearing Bally boots in the brand’s offices. “That’s when it hit me, the true history of the company,” he said.
Other guests who watched the screening included Rachel Roy, Georgina Chapman, Keren Craig and Joy Bryant.
Check out the campaign video, below.