PUMA continues to revive and recreate archival silhouettes this year with the upcoming RS-0 PLAY. First teased last month, PUMA’s latest shoe is set to drop in four new colorways inspired by classic video games, arcades, and the memorable aesthetic they brought to life.
Into the RS-0 PLAY pack, PUMA instills the spirit of unforgettable neon classics such as Pac-Man, Tetris, Galaga, and Super Mario Bros., harking back to the period-defining color palette they’re remembered for.
Each colorway uses a range of poppy colors across the leather upper, perforated vamp, and RS-powered sole. A white upper accents bright red, yellow, and blue elements; a beige upper highlights a yellow heel counter and midsole; a black upper contrasts a red heel counter and midsole; and soft pink upper compliments mint green and fuschia features. Padded and brightly colored midsole inserts reference control panel buttons and sticks, while the colors on the outsole are used in a color blocking style.
The RS-0 PLAY was first glimpsed back in April when PUMA hosted an event in Berlin revealing a gang of upcoming releases for the very first time. In the mix was a Sonic the Hedgehog- and Dr. Eggman-inspired collaboration with SEGA, a collab with Roland alluding to the classic TR-808 drum machine, and a collection with the eccentric Seoul-based label ADER error.
But it wasn’t all about collaborations, PUMA also unveiled its upcoming RS-0 range featuring the RS-0 SOUND, RS-0 OPTIC, and highlighted RS-0 PLAY.
The RS-0 series reimagines archival PUMA designs like the RS-Computer, RS-100, RS-350, and RS-1 that date back to the 1980s; RS, an abbreviation of Running System, is the name of a cushioning technology first used in ‘86 and reinvented for this collection. The first drops from the new collection—featuring fresh takes on the classic RS-100 and the RS-Computer and an all-new RS-0 and RS-350—return the OG silhouette to its most fundamental features, recreating it almost from scratch. Each upcoming RS-0 model explores a different creative and cultural pillar, namely music (RS-0 SOUND), photography (RS-0 OPTIC), and gaming (RS-0 PLAY).
Conceptually, the new RS line is informed by the past but made for the future. An innovative take on retrofuturism, it’s of both the silhouette’s original era and its current one. Not only does this reflect a current trend in design, particularly sneaker design, it also reflects the attitude of today’s generation who crave nostalgia as much as they do newness. With so many tools and platforms for content and product creation at their disposal, today’s movers and shakers are eagerly bringing their vision for the future to life inspired by history books, movements, and cultures passed.
Highlighting this spirit of reinvention, we’ve hunted down five talented visual artists, each with a unique vision for tomorrow. First up, we tasked Highsnobiety’s own in-house image team with reinterpreting the past for the initial RS-0 reboot. Now, James Pearson-Howes has conjured up a series of illusory images for the RS-0 PLAY colorways.
The London-based photographer is known predominantly for his portrait, music, and fashion photography as well as documentation of subcultures. Referencing a vintage PUMA poster—in particular its use of gradient, columns, and signature—Pearson-Howes and art director Jake Phillips conceived a visual style that highlighted the shoes’ colors and retro design. Inspired by the past and unafraid of innovation and change, Pearson-Howes explained, “Technology is changing rapidly and will soon change the way we create imagery. It’s certainly an exciting time to be creative if you’re not afraid of adapting and learning new mediums.”
- Photography: James Pearson-Howes
- Art Direction: Jake Phillips