Held in Shoreditch, East London, the PUMA x ALIFE launch party aimed to explore the global evolution of street style, in particular its influence in New York and London. While the party soon became rave-like thanks to performances from grime legends P Money and Ghetts, the night began with a panel discussion featuring Treis Hill of ALIFE, Yassine Saidi of PUMA Select, creative Ayishat Akanbi and blogger Joel Stoddart.
Following the event we spoke to Treis Hill to discuss the collaboration, the brand history and what’s still to come.
What’s the story behind your new PUMA collab? How did it come about?
We wanted to continue to focus on New York, the history and the culture of the city. We evolved aspects of the collection around the old “Fear City” Pamphlets from 1975. New York in the ’70s was a disaster, crime was rampant and as a means to keep people away, NYPD would hand out pamphlets warning tourists to stay away from New York.
How important was the PUMA brand back in the early days of ALIFE?
Very crucial, PUMA was one of the first brands to work with ALIFE on events and collaborations at the shop. They saw that our shop was more than just a sneaker store and began working with us to incorporate events with Clyde. Eventually bringing one of the first projects to market in 2007.
How has streetwear changed since ALIFE first started?
It’s big business now, before it was four guys, maxing out credit cards to build something they loved. Now there are at least 6-10 releases each week. We are in the industry and we can’t keep up. It’s a lot, the industry changes, but you have to adjust with it.
What does the future hold for ALIFE? Can we expect to see more PUMA collabs?
For sure, we have projects in the works. This summer for Copa we will also be working with PUMA to follow up on our football kits we did for the World Cup in 2014.
Who or what else inspires ALIFE’s designs?
New York. The people, the streets, music, art, culture. We are inspired by everything around us.
What brings you over to the UK to launch the collection here?
I love London, the street fashion here is very smart, classic and traditional. For a very long time London has been one of the best cities for sneakers.
How does grime and roadman style fit into ALIFE’s current and past aesthetic?
Grime is to London, what hip-hop is to New York. And now with social media, we are seeing more kids here translate elements of Grime into the fashion in the States.
The influence of grime on fashion is increasingly evident and isn’t slowing down, impacting brands within London and beyond. Check out our Guide to Grime Fashion for a more in-depth look at the culture around the music.