The fashion world and sneaker connoisseurs alike are abuzz with the collaboration between Puma and powerhouse singer, mother and all-round badass Solange Knowles. Solange was named as the creative consultant in November 2013 but finally we can see the baby of this dream marriage. As a business decision, I think the singer's appointment was a smart one and has injected new life into the brand allowing it to compete with the likes of Nike and New Balance who create sneakers aimed at fashion bloggers as much as gym bunnies. This new collection really ups the ante by introducing 1980s inspired motifs to complicated and intersecting materials and colors. It's vibrant without being too overpowering and kind of reminds me of the Bernhard Willhelm Camper sneakers without a heavily elevated heel.
I can wholeheartedly say I haven't had an obsessive crush on chunky heeled, cushioned sneakers in bright colours since I was in middle school but I must admit the trend combined with modern styling has me swooning. The photo shoot is dreamy and drenched in pastel tones predominantly starring women of colour in vintage inspired pleated skirts, yellow turtlenecks and underpants in a range of colourful settings. Despite the dreamy colour palette the composition of photos is quite eye-catching and modern, reminiscent of Kenzo's most recent campaigns and shoots (but nowhere near as revolutionary). Still, the photo shoot expresses some interesting ideas as to how to style these shoes. Bloggers like Susana Lau of Style Bubble have long been styling sneakers with winter coats and pleated skirts to add a feminine touch to an otherwise sporty look. But until now I hadn't been thoroughly convinced of this looks' potentials.
The shoes themselves are crisscrossed with brand emblazoned ribbon and chunky plastic medallions sitting on the tongue of the shoe. Although I despise the word "funky" it's hard to dream up another word that accurately sums up and describes the designs. Eclectic is another choice word but obvious thought and careful planning has clearly gone into each of the shoes, collectively inspired by the sights and sounds of Brazil. That influence is obvious when looking at the shades of red and green used throughout the photo shoot but is a little more subtle in the make of the sneakers. I would personally describe it as worldly and commercial. But for once I welcome the commercial with open arms and await for further installments to this very exciting union between pop culture icon and international brand.