Almost daily we are shown, or become aware, of a new sneaker collaboration. Stores, celebrities, bands and even YOU (via custom websites) have the opportunity to “design” (more aptly choose) colour schemes for longstanding favourites. The results are mixed. The hype derived from the perceived cool of the collaborator.
All too often, the selected model (or the model chosen for the collaborator) falls too close to the overly popular models. We see Reebok pumps, Nike Dunks, AF1s and Shell toes. Sure, we see a few runners, and the occasional surprise. But, most of the time things are just a touch predictable.
There are exceptions to this rule, in both brand and collaborator. On the brand level, PUMA has used a great number of their back catalogue for special editions. The Roma to celebrate a Johnny Damon All-Star game appearance. The RS-100 for a great collection featuring the art of BJ Betts. And, of course, the Clyde has proved very versatile. Latest in the high profile release mire is Puma’s work with Sneaker Freaker. Purveyor of sneaker history, news and related issues, the Magazine itself has already made waves with shock collaboration, namely meeting Lacoste.
Since 2003 Sneaker Freaker has documented the global phenomenon of sneaker mania. The craze for sneakers certainly captures the staff as well, who dive into all potential collaborations with incredible verve. Most recently, with Puma, the SF team produced two colour-ways of the Blaze of Glory. Once again throwing the sneaker community for a loop, Sneaker Freaker gets its hands on a long hibernating model, gives it some energy, and unleashes it with some secret animal DNA.
I spoke with Woody, founder and editor-in-chief of Sneaker Freaker, about the process of designing the shoe. While I had him, I figured who better to ask about the market as a whole and to clarify some perceptions I have.
Read the Feature Interview here…