T-Pain is one of music’s biggest personalities, with an eye for fashion that is just as bold. Recently, Ruffles — with the help of The Shoe Surgeon — laced the star artist with the exclusive, eye-catching Ridge Top sneaker.
The “I Like Dat” singer is featured in the Ruffles “Own Your Ridges” campaign alongside NBA star Anthony Davis (who has Ridge Tops laced up in the “Ruffles Without Ridges” commercial) and actor King Bach. “Own Your Ridges” is the potato chip brand’s effort to inspire people to embrace what makes them unique.
Although T-Pain and Davis have already laced up the limited-edition shoes, it doesn’t mean fans can’t score a pair. Sneakerheads can take their shot at a chance to win them via Rufflessneakers.com, where the brand will select one winner each week for five weeks, which began on May 22.
With the campaign underway, and T-Pain already spotted in the Ridge Top courtside during a Utah Jazz playoff game, the artist spoke with FN about his relationship with Ruffles, what his footwear collection looks like and the people in music he thinks are the most fashionable.
How did you link up with Ruffles for the “Own Your Ridges” campaign and to showcase The Shoe Surgeon’s Ridge Top sneaker?
“We were already kicking it from a commercial standpoint, we have been talking for a while, and they felt like I was was the right candidate for it. The ‘Own Your Ridges’ campaign was always fit for me. The second they started it, they were like, ‘Yeah, T-Pain.’ I don’t think that’s true, I’m just making a story up for me and my ego — I feel like that’s how it went in the conference room. [In all seriousness] I feel like it was a pure fit. I’ve always ‘owned my ridges,’ I’ve always been myself and ‘owning your ridges’ is just what makes you, you. So this was a no brainer.”
Are there more plans for shoes with The Shoe Surgeon and Ruffles?
“I mean, I do like shoes and I do like Ruffles. They can text or email and I’m right there. It’s nothing.”
What is your footwear collection like?
“My collection fluctuates because I keep all my shoes for a year and then I do a closet cleaning every Christmas for my nephews and cousins. For some reason, all of my cousins were the same size as me. It’s weird. But I pretty much clean out my entire closet, give away all my stuff out of my closet, and maybe keep a couple of things. My collection is always super diverse. I’ve had more times than I care to admit where the person in the store will look at me like, ‘You want these?’ I do, I’ve got out an outfit for this, I know what I’m doing.”
Is anything off limits?
“Not really. Well, if they’re a comfortable pair of shoes, something I could wear around the house and just slip on, doesn’t matter the brand or what they look like, I might have to stay with them. I gave my brother those first Yeezys, those Louis Vuitton Yeezys, I got them when they first dropped and now they’re worth like $10,000. Straight up mistake. He ran those things into the ground.”
What is your closet balance like? Are you more of a sneaker guy, or are you into other types of shoes?
“Mostly sneakers, and I’ll slip a high-top that’s like teetering on that line of boot. Sneakers are my joint because my ankles are weird, I’ve got weird shaped ankles. I don’t even know how that works. I’ve still got Lugz, the first pair of Lugz that Birdman gave me. I like New Balance,, Nike, Reebok, Adidas. I’ve got shoes that I made; Fly Boys Couture Club showed me how to make shoes and I made my shoes, they were all snakeskin. It was pretty crazy. Obviously, I have shoes from The Shoe Surgeon. I have DVS shoes. I used to exclusively get my sneakers from Hot Topic, it was the only place I would shop because I love skate shoes. They’re so comfortable.”
What are the current trends in footwear that you enjoy?
“It’s hard to say because I’m really a trendy kind of person. Probably seven years ago, I got made fun of for wearing New Balance, and now that’s the move. Like, ‘What’s up with the rich, white guy shoes?'”
Who in music has a sense of style that you appreciate?
“I’ve always admired the trendsetters: CeeLo [Green], Busta Rhymes, Young Thug, Lil Wayne, André 3000. Anybody that does whatever they want to do, anybody that can just walk out the house in what they were wearing in the house and just chill for the day and not worry about comments or anything like that, those are the people I admire.”
What can fans expect from your upcoming “Precious Stones” album?
“It’s not really traditional T-Pain. I’ve been wanting to experiment with different sounds and going to different genres. love what I came up with, I love how it came out. It’s a different sound for me, but it’s always been a desire of mine to do different kinds of music and not be pigeonholed to a certain genre because of my past or my looks.”