with gallery: Puffer Reds in Ypsilanti hosts launch of signature shoes from Detroit rapper Big Sean
Puffer Reds in Ypsilanti is a very busy store Saturday thanks to the launch of a new shoe inspired by rapper Big Sean, who grew up in Detroit. The shoe release event is tied to the artist's much-anticipated performance tonight at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Adidas Originals launched the Pro Model 2 "Detroit Players," and there are only 380 pairs of the shoes in the world. Today's release of the red reptile-print sneaker with gold plated accents is an exclusive to Puffer Reds, the only store in Michigan selling the shoe.
"We got 88 pairs, and that's an honor," said Ty Mopkins, a buyer and marketer for Puffer Reds. "More than half the staff here is from Detroit like Big Sean. Detroit is on the rise, and we are part of the movement bringing Detroit back."
Dozens of fans lined up behind the store before it opened Saturday, hoping to buy a pair of the shoes.
"I just love him," said Tonia Anderson of Ann Arbor about Big Sean. She was accompanied by Chris Stephens, who was visiting from California.
"He makes good music," said Stephens.
"Big Sean actually talks about life struggles," said fan Laqueen Sturdivant , 17, from Ypsilanti.
"His music inspires people," said 11-year-old Amani Pittman, also from Ypsilanti.
Daniel Jarrett and Meredith Mahan came from Dallas, Texas to see Big Sean in concert tonight and to buy his shoes.
"He was from my neighborhood and that means a lot," said Jarrett, who also grew up in Detroit. "To see somebody come this far is great. It doesn't matter where you're from if you get the right drive and the right people behind you."
Big Sean's signature shoe features a quote from the intro to his "Finally Famous" album on the inside of the shoe stating, "I say I'm still dreaming bigger than I'm living."
The shoes retail for $160.
Big Sean was born Sean Michael Anderson and is 24 years old. He graduated from Cass Technical High School with a 3.7 GPA. He was discovered by Kanye West, who signed him to his record label G.O.O.D. Music in 2007, and in 2008 Big Sean signed with Def Jam Recordings.
"We show Big Sean a lot of love so this is him showing love back," said Puffer Reds sales consultant P.L. "We play a lot of his music and support him. He came from the bottom and shows people anything is possible. He's staying true to his generation and culture."