Why Jaden Smith Once Took Off a Shoe and Waved it at the Paparazzi

The Smith family is in the news cycle more than ever thanks to Red Table Talk. And Jaden Smith is getting quite a lot of attention as well. Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s middle child is making a name for himself thanks to his creativity and outspoken nature. And he’s caused quite a stir amongst the public before.

Now, we’re taking a look back at the time he took his shoe and waved it at the paparazzi. Here’s why he made such an unusual move.

Jaden Smith lives an ultra-privileged life thanks to famous parents Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith

Jaden Smith, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Trey Smith
Jaden Smith, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Trey Smith | Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

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The Smiths are worth millions of dollars, and Jaden certainly has privileges many others his age don’t have. Jada’s talked about the affluence her family has as well — and she’s noted she still tries to instill a strong work ethic in her kids despite the money they have.

People notes Jada spoke at a Sundance film panel about her decision to have her kids get jobs at a young age. “As much as people got on me in regards to having them work early, I did not want them to grow up thinking that because they were in the midst of affluence that they did not have to grind or work hard on their own,” she explained.

Not only do the Smith kids work, but Jada notes they were also taught to give back. “I think also they had to start their charity lifestyle very early, [at] 5 years old they were in the orphanages at homeless shelters,” she added. Jada noted that as privileged children, Jaden and Willow needed to learn how to “be in service to the world.”

Jaden collaborated with New Balance to create his own shoe

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Jada and Will may have done a great job of instilling wholesome values in their kids. But Jaden’s affluence is still helping him get ahead. According to Complex, he has his own collaboration with New Balance that’s truly unique.

The publication notes Jaden said he has “art in my house that’s made out of trash,” and that’s how he approached his New Balance Vision Racer signature model. The sneakers use recycled materials and feature a chunky bottom.

Jaden’s been collaborating with New Balance since 2017, and he even learned how to build shoes by hand while visiting a factory in Maine. “I was not expecting how hard it is just to stitch a shoe together,” he noted. And he added that he wanted his footwear to be accessible to all instead of just for celebrities.

“We need to give away the shoe free to, not influencers, but people that are real people,” he noted. “People that actually need shoes.”

Here’s why he waved his shoes at the paparazzi

Jaden Smith at the premiere of 'Bad Boys for Life'
Jaden Smith at the premiere of ‘Bad Boys for Life’ | Leon Bennett/WireImage

It looks like Jaden is willing to put attention on his shoe collection anyway he knows how. Vanity Fair notes the celebrity was outside of a restaurant in California in August 2020 when paparazzi were taking photos — and he suddenly removed one of his shoes and showed it to the cameras. The friend Jaden was with did the same.

So, why the big (and odd) show for the photographers? It seems Jaden was looking for a free way to advertise his Vision Racer sneakers. His friend wore a sold-out style while Jaden appeared to wear a pair that featured a colorway not yet released. And it seemed like the perfect opportunity to show fans what’s to come in the collection via the paparazzi who wanted his photo.

Considering how successful Jaden’s sneaker line is proving to be, perhaps his photography stunt really worked. We’re interested to see what he pulls off in the future.

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