The California native is already a multiplatinum rapper, and is even among the exclusive-ish league of artists known only by one name — in his case, Kyle. Not only has the “iSpy” rapper recently landed a marketing campaign with Ugg x Footaction, but he has already added actor to his repertoire as he is set to star in the Netflix original hip-hop comedy, “The After Party.”
That’s more than an impressive background for someone from a “small town,” as Kyle so describes his Ventura, Calif., home. For Ugg x Footaction’s second partnership, they tapped the star to become brand ambassador of the duo’s latest marketing campaign.
Kyle’s cool-guy persona was a natural fit for the lifestyle brand and the retailer’s joint campaign, which followed him around some of New York City’s most iconic haunts wearing Ugg footwear.
Kyle will serve as the face of the Ugg x Footaction partnership, which will introduce an exclusive new colorblock version of the Neumel.
With the campaign having officially launched on Wednesday, Kyle spoke to Footwear News about the collaboration, rapping with his favorite artist, and even advice on life.
On partnering with Ugg and Footaction:
“Well, let me start by saying I’m from California and very particularly I’m from Ventura, California, which has always been a huge surf town. That’s our thing. The number one product we serve to the world is awesome surfers. Ugg boots is always something I’ve known from surfing.
As far as Footaction, it’s always been the dopest store to buy shoes from. It makes sense for them to partner and I have zero problem attaching myself to either one of those.”
On Uggs he’s wearing now:
“What I’m rocking now is the Neumels. Neumels are very sick. I’ve [also] always been rocking the slippers everywhere — like on my way to first period, slippers on my way to grandma’s house. That’s pretty much my favorite style. I like being comfortable and that’s something that Ugg boots brings to the table.”
On his friends wearing Uggs:
“Everybody I knew in high school had Ugg boots – period. It was like a cultural thing for us. The same way everybody I know from high school loves Kid Cudi. It’s a reflection of yourself. People take it very seriously. I think that’s why there are so many collaborations with artists and famous people in general.”
On the connection between shoes and music:
“It’s fashion, right? So, I think the two things people care about the most are clothes and music and their expression. Every pair of shoes you put on is really an expression of yourself. And every artist you listen to, it’s also the same thing. They’re just two very important pieces to a person. At least where I’m from.”
On working with major hip-hop artists:
“I stood next to Wiz Khalifa and I was like, ‘Wow, I’m really in a movie with Wiz Khalifa.’ It’s pretty nuts. Jadakiss is also in the movie and I’m Jadakiss’ number one fan of all time. I never thought I’d meet him and we are doing a scene where me and Jadakiss are rapping to each other. The list of cameos goes on. A lot of everybody’s favorite hip-hop people are in this movie. It should really be called the rap movie because [there’s] every piece of hip-hop culture.”
On what to expect from the Netflix Original, “The After Party”:
“The movie is hilarious. It will be the most entertaining thing. But more than just rap, more than just hip-hop, the deeper thing to take away is two kids that are having issues finding themselves… two kids trying to be everything they think they are supposed to be and not just accepting who they are.
It’s a story about growing and allowing your friends to grow. I think that’s the issue sometimes, especially coming from a small town, I know how people change and friends change and sometimes our friends don’t allow us to change. [It’s about] two friends who are growing up and trying to maintain their friendship while they chase their dreams and [their] journey.”
On advice for people growing up:
“Don’t’ over think it. I think that’s the number one issue — we get caught up in our issues too much and trying to be the person we think people want us to be. The moment we start trying too hard, that’s when it doesn’t work.”
While a campaign, a Netflix film and everything in between makes Kyle more than a stand-out star, at the end of it all, he just has one final thing to say. “I just want to shoutout my mom and tell my mom I love her. And yea, that’s it.”
So then again, maybe Kyle is more like your average 24-year-old than it would seem.
The exclusive new Ugg Neumel colorways, plus more of the campaign styles, are available to shop now on the e-commerce sites for Footaction and Ugg, as well as select Footaction and Ugg retailers nationwide.
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