A Puma classic gets a designer overhaul from the talented man behind his namesake label and Bottega Veneta.
Puma is making big moves in the sneaker wars these days thanks to collaborations with Rihanna, The Weeknd, and Big Sean. (And rumors are swirling that something’s in the works with Jay-Z.) These high profile collaborations are at the heart of the brand’s recent resurgence but it’s not always a given that a big name partnership will yield great products. Luckily, no one has to worry about that with the brand’s latest collaboration, which enlists Tomas Maier—the talented designer of his own namesake label and creative director at Bottega Veneta—to put a high-end spin on the classic Roma 1968 silhouette.
This version of the Roma was originally released in, yes, 1968 to celebrate the victory of the Italian national football team at the UEFA European Football Championship. “I liked the vintage feel and the sleekness of the shoe,” Maier says about his decision to riff on the particular style. “[The year] 1968 was a pretty good year in design in general and is far enough in the past to look good again.” What’s old is new is a common refrain in fashion, but 1968 was a particular strong year for menswear, as the business suits of the Mad Men era were giving way to Flower Power and a loosening up of dress codes (sound familiar?) created a potent mix of sleek modernism and playful attitude—something you see in Maier’s Puma collaboration. At first glance, the kicks look like another retro-y white leather sneaker with a gum sole, but up close you notice Maier’s brand logo—a palm tree—embossed throughout the upper. Look again and you’ll see that on the heel is the designer’s name, which might not turn heads with the Rihanna or Weeknd crowd, but will be irresistible to those who know and love Maier’s work.
Maier, who is celebrating his label’s 20th anniversary this year, is a master at making the kind of “rich guy on holiday” clothes (soft tailoring, dusty colors,…