Talk to most sneakerheads on the street and the conversation will include a lot of words about Nike and Jordan and a few about the potential rise of adidas. But PUMA has repeatedly shown over the years that it deserves a place among the high lords of shoe culture, no matter what hot new Jordan is selling out or what new Nike technology has thrown everyone on their heels. From the history of the versatile PUMA Roma to their recent collaborations with New York fashion connoisseur Va$htie and style icon Rihanna, the brand has a long history of dope products. And now, combining innovation with tradition has the brand set to make a big return this summer.
This past Thursday in New York City, PUMA unveiled its Summer 2015 Collection. Set in the Nolita section of the city, we were treated to ice cream sundaes and sautéed chicken stir fry. But it was PUMA that offered up the best part of the night.
We saw a new set of colorways for the nearly 25-year-old running sneaker, the Trinomic R698, ranging in everything from grey and teal to a pair that brought to mind the Miami Dolphins colorway. We saw a collection for the PUMA Star, PUMA Basket, and, of course, the classic PUMA Suede that centered around stylized textures in the upper–along with white, red, and blue paint splashes–and white midsoles.
However, it was a new take on the Disc Blaze sneaker, as well as a special collaboration, that stood out the most. The felt-styled Disc Blaze will be dropping in a couple of different colorways, from black to orange to blue, but most importantly we will also see it in volt, a direct callout to the tennis ball. PUMA also showcased a collab with Germany’s Solebox on the XS850 as part of the “Adventurer Pack.” One was on display in Nolita, a grey-ish, baby blue rendition that featured a white midsole and black branding, with a toebox made of suede, mesh, nubuck, and neoprene. Be on the lookout for more of PUMA at Champs Sports over the coming months.
Simply having Rihanna’s name and brand connected in 2015 will give PUMA opportunities to reach new heights this summer. For many, that might’ve been enough. Roll out new products. Concentrate on a campaign to showcase the star talent. And let the rest take care of itself. Luckily, PUMA won’t be satisfied with the status quo. They are bringing the heat. They have a history that demands it.
Follow Sean on Twitter at @seanesweeney
*** *** ***