Behind The Scenes With Wale On His FN Cover Shoot

Who knew that Wale was such a fashion chameleon? “As soon as we saw the first sample of his sneakers, I guessed he’d be game to push his look in a bold direction,” said FN fashion director Mosha Lundström Halbert, who worked with Brookelyn Aviles, Wale’s personal stylist, to dress him in a mix of established and emerging New York menswear labels that included Ralph Lauren, Gypsy Sport and Public School.

Wale Asics Villa Sneaker Collaboration
Between shots, Wale talks about his new Asics and Villa collaboration.
Wale Ascis Gel Lyte III
Selection of shoes on location for Wale’s Footwear News shoot.
Wale Footwear News Photo Shoot Behind The Scenes
At a shoe shine station.

When not in his own gold collaboration sneakers with Asics and Villa (which caused a sensation when Wale took to the Manhattan streets in them for the shoot), high-end men’s editor Christian Allaire kept the savvy rapper well shod in luxury kicks.

Though each look may have been a departure, it didn’t render him any less recognizable. “He stayed pretty focused, despite the mayhem that ensued around us,” said Lundström Halbert of the legions of people who pulled out their phones after spotting him doing regular New York activities such as getting his shoes shined or grabbing ice cream from a truck.

Wale Footwear News Photo Shoot Behind The Scenes
Crowds gathering around Wale on the streets of New York City.
Wale Shoes
A selection of shoes pulled for Wale that included Paul Andrew, Alexander Wang, Pierre Hardy and Giuseppe Zanotti.

Wale also documented the experience on his Snapchat. “I’ve never had someone Snapchat so much while we are shooting — that was a first,” said photographer Annie Tritt. “Wale was game for anything and open to listening to my suggestions. He also had some good ideas himself. There were a lot of people around, so we had to be creative. I love being kept on my toes.” 

Wale Footwear News Photo Shoot Behind The Scenes
Wale on location outside the New York Public Library.

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