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Aug 21

Interview with a Puma Clyde Collector

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There’s that moment when you’re scrolling through Instagram, looking at Pumas, and you come across an unexpected account full of Puma sneakers. In this case, full of Clyde’s. Meet Cliff – the “Puma Clyde King” as it is stated on Instagram. With a collection of about 80 pairs of Puma Clyde’s he may own more than anyone I know (at least here in the United States). As I scrolled through his collection I knew I needed to know more.

Cliff was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles and currently resides in San Pedro, California. As always, I wanted to know why he chose Pumas – specifically Clyde’s – to collect. He responded, “I never been the typical male that liked Nike’s, and Jordan’s.  Back in the day my older brother used to rock shoes like Fila, Adidas, Puma, diadora, K-swiss and Ellesse, this influenced me to be different. As I got older, I kept that style and stayed in my own lane instead of wearing Nike’s and Jordan’s which is more popular now. One thing about me is that I like to be different and not go with the crowd. Everything I buy have to be different, and since Puma’s are not really popular in the States that makes them more attractive to me.Puma’s remind me of my past days growing up with my brothers and my god-parents!”

As you scroll through Cliff’s feed you’ll see Clyde’s. Sure, there is a Suede or a Basket here or there but he says, “This style is nostalgic.  The Clyde style was the first Puma that I purchased on a trip to Las Vegas at the Puma Outlet. My wife pointed out the orange Puma Clyde with the white stripe , and I fell in love, and have been collecting Puma’s since 2006-07.” Good job, wife!

One thing I noticed is that Cliff owns some unique shoes. He has a few styles I haven’t seen before and of course, some designs that I drool over as I wanted them for myself. He says, “I just get the ones that I’m feelin’! New York stores and overseas stores have a lot of limited Puma releases so it’s hard for me to get the ones I want since I’m in L.A. I do a lot of searching online or at the local sneaker shops! When I do find the ones I want I just hope it’s in my size.”  I asked Cliff if there were some styles that he coveted but hasn’t found yet.  He mentioned a few: Puma X Atmos – Polar Bear, Puma X Atmos – Ibis, Puma Clyde Powder Blue/Cordovan, Puma Clyde Hall of Game Gray/Blk/White.

Cliff is a collector who wears his shoes. He said, “I wear all my shoes. In my opinion anyone who buy shoes and not wear them …..what’s the point? The whole purpose of collecting shoes is to enjoy them, dress them up and let other people see and admire your collection, not keep them in a box hidden away!”  I have to find a collector of Pumas who doesn’t wear what they buy. I think this is fantastic. 

I know many people don’t “get” the whole buying of sneakers thing. I am sure we have all had that one family member or friend who asks, “Um… how many pairs do you need?” (Sorry Mom). Cliff commented, “…They know that I have a style of my own, and they are pretty much used to seeing me wear  Puma Clyde’s that match all of my outfits now.”  In fact, as you read above, his wife was the one who first pointed out the orange Pumas that caught his attention.  Cliff says he doesn’t have time to collect much of anything else as Clyde’s take up his extra “time and money”.

The question I really wanted answered was, “Where do you find your Clyde’s?”  If you pick through his collection you’ll see some nice, rare Clyde’s. He even had a few pairs that I hadn’t seen. We all want that hookup, right? We want to know that guy in Japan who can find us the rare shoe or the style that wasn’t released here in the States. I have to say Cliff is holding fast to his source right now. I honestly don’t blame him. He replied, “For the time being I will keep that to myself because if I tell how I get them, then it will be harder for me to find the Puma’s I want down the line.” Although my foot is so small it isn’t like he would have to compete in sizes with me. Maybe I’ll wear him down one of these days.

I think that Cliff has a rare collection here in the States. I am amazed to see two or three new pairs almost daily on Instagram. There are those who collect Suedes and then there are people who like me who buy whatever tickles their fancy at the moment. Clyde’s are getting more difficult to find and there aren’t a lot of new releases here so Cliff’s collection is enviable. There are two things that Cliff loves more than Pumas. His wife, Latricia and his daughter, Symphony who, Cliff states, is “a future Pumahead”. Great job, Cliff, in furthering the Puma legacy!

I want to thank Cliff for taking time to answer my questions. Don’t forget to check him out on Instagram and please be sure to look through the slideshow to see a glimpse of his collection.

written by PumaLover \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

May 14

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Instagram has been the most fantastic place for meeting and getting to know fellow lovers of the Puma brand. There are those who collect only suedes. Some focus on the Clydes. When I first found Imran’s Instagram page I felt happy to find someone who wasn’t the average Puma collector. He had shoes no one else had and I liked that. Imran lives in the UK (outside of London) and owns his own business. It involves fast cars which makes me jealous. Lately he’s been adding the best shoes to his collection – read about which ones those are and learn more about my Puma friend.

Of course I always want to know, “Why Puma?” Here in the United States we are bombarded by Nike so finding a fellow Puma lover is always exciting. I imagine over in the UK and Europe it is probably a little easier. Imran replied, “Many people ask me this question. Normally collectors of other brands don’t get why you would collect/buy sometime else! I guess I just find the designs aesthetically pleasing – that’s the main thing. As a teenager I was into Nike’s but I think they lost their way with the air model after the Air Max 97. At that time I had only owned Puma football boots [soccer cleats for you Americans] and a pair of OG Puma Discs. I was looking around for sometime different and found some Puma Sprints and then Mostros – both of which I owned multiple colorways of.” As a co-owner of Evolve Automotive he added, “Puma also has a strong association with motorsport and as I am also a petrolhead it suits me!” As you follow Imran’s Instagram feed you’ll also see he is quite the fashionista and puts together very nice outfits. About his clothes he commented, “Apart from the Puma sneakers I also have a lot of Puma clothing/accessories and especially love the collab pieces from Hussein Chalayan and Fake London Genius.”

Imran Puma Disc CollectionAt the moment Imran has 25 pairs of Pumas. I’d say that about half of those are Puma Discs. I asked him why the Discs? He said, “I like a lot of the colourways (not all!) and they are ultra comfortable. I like the fact that they are bit different and not many non-sneaker fans know what they are. As they become more popular that will change but until then I will enjoy them fully.” I like to think I turned him onto the red and yellow discs that are in his collection. I remember his first response being something about them being bright. Well they look terrific.

In addition to the liking Discs Imran says this about the styles he seeks: “I like a wide range of them but I do like to hunt out collabs (Beams, Millerain, Ronnie Fieg), Japan only releases, limited editions or Puma Black Label sneakers (Alexander McQueen/Hussein Chalayan). Part of the enjoyment for me is finding hard to find sneakers. I do have more discs than anything at the moment. I loved my first pair in the 90’s – I guess they were too advanced at the time but seem to be getting more popular this time around.”

Some upcoming releases that has Imran excited are “the all white discs with red accents that were previewed in Project Las Vegas”. He added, “Also I have heard that Puma are releasing a Disc Bubble Tech Pack. If that is true then I can’t wait to see what they look like and if the colourways are good for me I’ll be copping for sure.” I think we’ll all be excited to see that shoe and how it will look/function. Whatever Pumas he picks up you can be sure that he will be wearing them. Some collectors like to put shoes away and keep them safe. Imran says, “I buy to wear not store and collect although there is nothing wrong with that. Everything gets worn eventually! I obviously wear the limited edition less and when its dry. I have the normal Pumas to wear as beaters.”

If you’re ever visiting UK/London you should be sure to check out the following spots recommended by Imran: In the UK we are lucky to have the Pumatwentyone store which has some limited releases – they are not online though which makes it a bit difficult for me as I have to take half a day out to go to London to visit. Stores like Footpatrol, End, Hanon Shop and The Business Fashion have carried limited release Pumas. Of course the Puma official online store is a good place to pick up some pieces. I visit Las Vegas every year for business and always take time out to go to the Outlet Store there.

A big Thank You to Imran for sharing his love of Pumas with me. Please be sure to check him out on Instgram and give him a ton of Likes.

written by PumaLover \\ tags: , , , , , , , ,

Dec 18
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Way back in late summer – maybe earlier – I saw a sneak peak at these wedges. A Puma rep on Instagram was nice enough to share a photo. At first glance, honestly, I wasn’t that excited. I wear sneakers to wear sneakers – not to wear heels. I’m not a fan of the many heeled sneakers that are out there. I prefer the type of shoe that Puma released with Sergio Rossi. My daughter saw the shoe and was excited for it.

When the time came and the MY-66s were released I couldn’t help but be intrigued. The MY-66s are designed by Mihara Yasuhiro of  Japan. Puma often collaborates with him and the shoes are always outstanding. You can read more about him online.

I had questions about these shoes. Would they be comfortable?   Would they make my ankles look fat? (yes I considered this – I have thick calves) What would I wear with them?  I had showed them to my best friend who’s response was, “Those are the ugliest Pumas you’ve ever shown me.” But he’s a man – what does he know?  I was blessed enough to receive a pair* to try out, wear around, review, etc. I was happy they came in orange too. The other choices of black and white are cute, but, I think the orange makes a statement and I like to be colorful in my shoes.

The day they arrived I was on my treadmill. I jumped off it and straight into the shoes.  I stood in front of my mirror and took a look. I liked them. I have to admit that I am totally in love with how the shoes look from the front.  I think they are way cute. The next step, of course, was deciding how to wear them with jeans. Would I roll my jeans? Cuff? Tuck? I wasn’t sure. The first time I wore them I cuffed my jeans. Rolling doesn’t work for me because I am on the shorter side. The height mixed with my legs being cut off at the roll just didn’t work. I looked even shorter. The cuff was okay but it hid the top of the shoe (my favorite part). The next time I wore the I tucked. I saw girls on Instagram with their pants tucked and that works. My jeans are generally too long for me but the shorter pair was perfect.

I wore these around while I was out shopping one afternoon.  I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get any comments on them. Often when I’m in a sneaker store (on my never-ending quest to find Pumas in my mall – always a failure) the employees will make comments. I guess with it being the Christmas season they were too busy. I posted them on Facebook and received some good feedback there too. I know more than one person said they were going to look into buying them. And the ultimate test was when I showed our friend’s 14 year old daughter. She is all about the sneaker wedges and she loved them. Her feet are too big so I didn’t have to worry about her stealing them.

The shoes are comfy. I wasn’t sure since they are wedges if they’d actually be comfortable or not. They actually do wear like sneakers – just with a little heel. For 2 hours I was able to walk around and my feet felt fine. There was no pressure on the ball of my foot nor on my arch. So comfort-wise they are awesome. I had only one problem with them and it isn’t the shoe’s fault.  My jeans rubbed off on the white leather. I was first wearing dark denim and they are new jeans. A little Magic Erasure will fix it but it is something to keep in mind if you have new dark denim jeans. I’d highly recommend tucking them so that the blue doesn’t rub off on the leather and ruin the shoes. It is always a good idea to inspect your shoes after wearing them anyway so you can quickly take care of any mud, dirt, or other mark on the shoe.

I’d recommend these shoes to a woman who’s looking to stand out. I know a lot of women who only wear heels or always want a little lift and they won’t wear sneakers because of this. Well, here’s your chance. You’ll get comfort and style in one shoe.

*I received these for free but the comments, review, and opinions are all mine.

written by PumaLover \\ tags: , , , , ,

Aug 27

A Puma Collection – Interview with Jermaine “Wu” Jones

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I was having a conversation with my mom the other day and she commented, “I had no idea that tennis shoes were so collectible!” It seems every time she visits new Pumas arrive via UPS. I sat down with her and showed her some collections on Instagram to help her understand that I really don’t have that many (yet).

Instagram allowed me to connect with Jermaine “Wu” Jones. He doesn’t do Twitter. He really doesn’t do Facebook. But he definitely does Instagram and it allows him to showcase his collection. I enjoy viewing his posts as he often includes “Going to Home Depot. The Puma Lifts will do the job.” I often wonder if I’m the only person who wears the sneakers I buy. He wears his to Olive Garden, Coach, the movies, and more. I like that. I think if you are going to put good money into a shoe that others should be able to see them and enjoy them.

Wu agreed to let me pick his brain a bit about how his Puma obsession was born and how he goes about finding his special shoes. I first wanted to know why Puma? Wu responded, “I started collecting Pumas because I felt that the shoes described me the best. The culture of Puma is something that am drawn to. I feel that the design is more an embodiment of the person than any other sneaker companies. They were also different. Everybody does Nike. I hate “seeing myself” around the town. So my Puma obsession was born. Plus I have always collected things: Colognes, watches, sunglasses; I can’t just get one of anything.”

He has been collecting for 5 years and owns 57 pairs of Pumas (5 have been retired). He went on to say, “I used to work in them until I became a store manager and now I wear driving mocs to work. I keep them in my shoe closet. Since I have so many I only collect rare and limited edition Pumas now. The rarer the better. If I find a pair of dead stock, then I will buy if the size works.”

Puma Monster Pack Moth Kings

We all have a favorite pair of sneakers that we own (sometimes 2-3 favorites). I asked Wu about his favorite. “My favorite pair of Pumas would have to be the Puma Monster Pack Moth King Clydes. I saw them in a magazine before they came out but I couldn’t find them. Even the shoe boutique I used to buy from had some of the other shoes in the pack but not the Moth Kings. I found them on eBay and actually had to pay full price for them.I never pay full price for anything. I was happy when I got them in the mail.” He has also started to collect the UNDFTD Clyde collection.

I asked Wu what he looks for in a shoe and he said, “I look for rarities or some crazy design or colorway. Mainly Clydes work well for me and are my favorite style but I have all kinds that I look for. Sometimes it depends on my mood for the day. But I do have all of the major brands of Puma; Mihara, Daisler, Alexander McQueen and Black Label.” (See the slideshow for some of his rare shoes by these designers).

Like any other type of collection it is important to keep the items clean and in good condition. Wu explained how he keeps his shoes looking nice. “I keep all my shoes in plastic containers. I had an incident where I came home and ants were everywhere for no reason. Since then [I] plastic container it up. I used to clean shoes with powder dish washing detergent but Jason Markk is awesome and works way better. I definately advise for all.”

Of course I wanted to pick his brain on where he finds his Pumas. Granted, I think it is easier for men than for women but I had to know if he had any secrets. Wu answered, “I used to get all of my shoes from the Puma Outlet in Myrtle Beach. I think I picked up about 20 pair just from there. I would call every three months and they would send me new stuff. Then they shut down. Then Puma stopped taking credit card info over the phone. I don’t live close at all to a Puma store so I had to travel but always found something. I still get from eBay and also sneaker stores online and sill don’t pay full price.”

I urge you to look Mr. Jones up on Instagram and check out his collection. He has some beautiful, unique Pumas and loves to check out others as well. I have to thank him for taking the time to respond to me and sharing his love of Puma.

written by PumaLover