The Puma Suede story
By Ross Wilson, 23 June 2015
German brothers Adi and Rudi Dassler were the Liam and Noel Gallagher of the sneaker game – two highly talented siblings who couldn’t stand each other. Back in 1948, after a family feud to end all family feuds, they split up their footwear company (the snappily named ‘Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik’) and formed two rival sportswear brands – adidas and Puma.
Often regarded as Adidas’s not-so-cool brother, things changed for Puma when they signed the flamboyant MVP of the New York Knicks, Walt 'Clyde' Frazier, as an ambassador.
The Puma Suede had been released in 1968 and, thanks to its clean shape, thick rubber sole and rough suede (a contrast to the canvas or leather upper of most sneakers at the time), was a relatively popular sneaker in its own right. In 1973, when the shoe was endorsed by the mink-coat-wearing, top-hat-sporting NBA star and renamed ‘The Clyde’ in his honour, it sold over two million pairs.
Away from the basketball courts, the Suede has had a long-standing love affair with B-Boy culture and hip-hop. Check out all those early 80s breakdance and rap videos and you’ll see it's the footwear of choice.
There is a good reason why the Suede hasn’t really changed much over the past 45 years – it pretty much looks good with everything. This season, we suggest you give those ankles some summer lovin' with rolled-up denim jeans, cuffed joggers or a fresh pair of shorts. A staple crisp white tee or classic polo shirt will complete the look, and remember to keep these kicks clean and fresh – just as Clyde himself would have.