If there's one thing we understand here at Highsnobiety it's that fashion is always changing. While function hasn't always been the key motivating factor in the world of streetwear, it certainly is now and shows no signs of letting up. Of course, there's no one that gets that more than the brains behind some of the world's biggest brands and the people those game-changers inspire.

To investigate this phenomenon, we linked up with PUMA and two London creatives.

First up is India Rose, who first appeared on the Highsnobiety pages almost a year ago today as one of Christina Paik's muses. Since then, she's carved a niche for herself as a multifaceted creative, blending the worlds of styling, directing and consulting.

Afterwards, see what Curtis Jehsta had to say. Although new to these digital pages, Jehsta's work has struck a chord with the Instagram community for its honest portrayal of life and fashion, and the combination of the two. But we'll let him explain exactly what it is he does.

India Rose

Why do you do what you do?

I never had a solid plan growing up, only that I knew I’d be working within a creative industry. I just fell into what I do now. It started with photography, and having a blog was just a fun side project while I was studying. I never thought about how it may affect my name or how people see me or how it may help shape my career.

I had a 9-5 office job working as a social media strategist off the back of it, which was great for someone straight out of university, but sitting in front of a desk full-time wasn’t for me. So I went freelance a few years ago. Over time, I preferred to be behind-the-scenes rather than in front of the camera.

I didn’t feel comfortable being with people associating me with the internet rather than the work that I do, so I’ve started to focus on direction, styling and consultancy - although it’s difficult to call myself any of those things, particularly in front of the stylists and directors that I admire. So for now, I prefer not to embrace a title.

What do you look for when you’re shooting?

Finding the right location is the first (and often most challenging) thing to look for, particularly in London. I prefer shooting abroad, where the light is brighter and there is more space to play around with. Also noting where the sun rises and sets is important for location scouting. On set, I like to make the models feel as comfortable as possible so it’s easier to capture their natural, playful movements. Outtakes are often my favorite shots, and I love focusing on details.

What are you wearing right now?

A tracksuit. The joys of working from home.

Describe your own personal sense of style.

I suppose I have a laid-back approach to fashion, and I have to be comfortable. If I can’t run or sleep in it, I won’t wear it. Although I often take inspiration from different styles, I try to wear them in a way that suits me. I wear a lot of denim, tailored trousers and menswear, and have an unhealthy obsession with jackets and shoes.

What or who has influenced your work and the way you work?

Every day I’m inspired (and sometimes overwhelmed) by someone new that has built and shaped their career from nothing. We are in a time where everything is shared instantly, making it easier to emulate, steal and tire of what’s out there very quickly, but also to be inspired by so many different types of people from all over the world.

Why London?

I moved around a lot as a kid, but this is the first time I can truly say where I live feels like home. I’ve always felt disconnected to the place I was living at the time, and it always left me searching for something else. The rent is extremely expensive here, which sometimes makes me question whether I should stay, but there’s something about London I can’t leave that I haven’t found anywhere else. I just have to travel at least every three months before I get itchy feet and my skin starts to turn grey from the lack of sun.

What’s the best and worst aspect of this city?

I love the diversity, music, and the self-deprecating, ironic and heavily sarcastic sense of humor. The rent and weather not so much.

Describe how the city influences you.

I’d say I’m influenced less by the city, but more by who lives here. My friends and the people I have around me influence and inspire me daily. Everyone, particularly in creative industries, is out here hustling to stay afloat. We all hate the weather and most of us can't afford the things we should be able to afford, so we collaborate and we improvise.

Can you remember your first encounter with PUMA? What did you think/what was it you wore?

Ever since I was given my first ATCQ cassette, I’ve been hugely influenced by New York hip-hop culture in the late '80s and early '90s. I used to ask my older brother to buy the albums I wasn’t old enough to buy, subscribe to graffiti magazines, and watch old hip-hop and breakdancing documentaries. I’ve always loved how everyone dressed, and a favorite shoe amongst B-Boys was the PUMA Suedes. I’ve been wearing them since I was a teenager.

How has the R698 managed to stay relevant as a piece of footwear since it debuted back in ’92?

The R698 was at the forefront of the decade’s tech-led footwear trends, and like every era over another, we're reminiscing over the ‘90s quite heavily at the moment. Streetwear is now at the forefront of the fashion industry and has trickled down into the high street. Now we are seeing more people in sneakers than ever before.

Why is streetwear borrowing more from athletic performance-wear, such as with the new PUMA 698’s use of IGNITE FOAM over Trinomic tech?

In recent years there has been more of an importance surrounding wellbeing, staying fit and working out. Fashion tends to reflect what is happening around us, so it’s only natural that athletic performance-wear is influencing streetwear at the moment.

How does the 698 IGNITE marry performance and street style in your opinion?

Although the shoe was originally designed for running, the silhouette could easily be mistaken for more of a fashion shoe. Particularly with the new paneled design and fabrication.

How does the sneaker feel? What is it like to wear? How’s the ride?

Although it looks like an everyday sneaker, it feels like I could run a marathon in them. And I can’t run to save my life.

What do you think of the style/silhouette? How would you wear it?

I usually wear sneakers with a flat sole, but with this shape I’d probably wear them with a pair of long, loose trousers, a sweatshirt and an oversized wool coat.

How’d you feel if someone smudged your PUMA?

It’s usually me who smudges my shoes so I have several cleaning kits at the ready.

Follow India Rose on Instagram.

Curtis Jehsta

Why do you do what you do?

I've always pushed what I love...

Your work’s pretty varied (i.e no real preference for street/observational, cityscapes or portrait). Is there a reason for this?

I don't like getting too comfortable and content with one thing so I try constantly to challenge myself and explore new things.

What do you look for when you’re shooting? Describe your perfect shot.

I look for a certain movement or moment combined with a good composition; for me it's about the two combined.

What or who has influenced your work and the way you work? What made you pick up the camera?

It's difficult to say who has influenced me, at the beginning I would say no one. But over the last year, I have started to do more research, reading and watching of how other people work. I still feel very new to photography and am constantly learning new things so I find it interesting to understand others and how they work.

What’s your trademark look/aesthetic that you think makes you stand out?

I would like to say my aesthetic has layers. I always tend to isolate my subjects, find an interesting location, and the type of moments I capture contribute to my overall aesthetic.

What are you wearing right now?

Black PUMA Suedes, black Levi's, a black Carhartt hoodie and a desert camo jacket.

Describe your own personal sense of style.

Simple and clean, inspired by skateboard culture.

Why London?

London just has everything apart from the beach.

What’s the best and worst aspect of this city?

Best is the people; worst is the traffic.

Describe how the city influences you.

The people in the city influence me - crazy shit always happening!

Can you remember your first encounter with PUMA? What did you think/what was it you wore?

My first encounter with PUMA was pretty early, I had only been shooting for a few months. The people there are amazing, I've worked with a fair few brands now but the team at PUMA have always had my back since day one, really supportive, humble and loyal.

How has the R698 managed to stay relevant as a piece of footwear since it debuted back in ’92?

It's just a good silhouette and super comfortable.

Why is streetwear borrowing more from athletic performance-wear, such as with the new PUMA 698’s use of IGNITE FOAM over Trinomic tech?

I’ve always been into my streetwear and liked a trainer that’s super comfortable. But as I’ve gotten older I've preferred a slimmer silhouette, which is why I think streetwear is taking inspiration from athletic performance.

How does the sneaker feel? What is it like to wear? How’s the ride?

The 698 feels very similar to the R698 in terms of comfort. The only difference is I feel like I could run pretty quick in the 698's if I needed to. [laughs]

What do you think of the style/silhouette?

You know when I first saw the 698 I wasn't sure I was feeling it, since I’ve shot them and saw how India styled the shoe it's grown on me.

How’d you feel if someone smudged your PUMA?

It’s always sour.

Follow Curtis Jehsta on Instagram.

For more information on the PUMA 698 IGNITE, check out puma.com and follow @PUMASportstyle on Instagram.

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