Couples who collect Pumas together – stay together! That is a new one, right? Well Kenny & Cici are testing that theory and aim to make it happen.
I never thought that Instagram would be where I found my community of Puma collectors. Sure, I have found a few enthusiasts on Twitter, but, it seems that the main collectors love sharing their photos on Instagram and it has been so fun connecting with them (like Mr. Jones who I featured last month). I “met” Kenny and Cici via Instagram and have so enjoyed getting to know their style. In fact, their wedding is coming up in March of ’13 and Puma will be featured prominently!
Clearly, I wanted to know – what came first? The love of Pumas or relationship? Cici answered, “When we started hanging out I (Cici) noticed that Kenny had a pair of beat up red suedes. I was taken back because Suedes were always my favorite sneakers and I hadn’t seen a pair in a long time, since they were always difficult to find. I, at the time, had a pair of really beat up light blue ones. As we started dating seriously are search for Suedes also became more serious. So I would say the Puma connection and the love came simultaneously.”
But why Pumas? Why the Suedes?
Cici: First off, they are mad comfortable. Also, with the Suedes, I like the classic, old-school style to them; they remind me of my youth. When I was in high school I had a navy pair, and then a forest green pair in college. Looking back, I wish I still had them.
Kenny: First off, why not Puma. When I was younger I was always a fan of Jordans and shell toe Adidas. Then I got my first pair of navy Suedes and I fell in love. I then had to get the black, red and green. Those were the simple days when I only owned one at a time. They are extremely comfortable and like Cici said, they remind me of my youth, my love for sneakers and hip hop.
If you flip through the slideshow at the top of the page, you will see that the Suedes are Cici & Kenny’s choice of Puma. While they are “exploring the Ligas and Clydes” they say that they always return to the Suedes. As I found out about how they collect their Suedes I was touched by their story of sacrifice. Ok, so sacrifice might be a strong word choice but you’ll see what I mean as you read their rule of collecting. Their rule: “We own 60 each. We have a rule that one of us cannot have a pair that the other does not have. With this rule it makes it harder to collect older pairs because sometimes we can’t find both of our sizes. We have this rule to keep away jealousy. Because of this rule we were unable to buy the Made In Japan Suedes that we both really wanted, or the Yo! MTV Rap suedes on Ebay.” Sometimes in relationships you do need to give something up for the person you love and in this case, the sacrafice might be the coolest looking Pumas ever like the Eco Tonal Pack.
Kenny and Cici of course have favorites and shoes they would like to own.
Kenny: “There are many. Yo! MTV Raps, the Made in Japan, a couple of the Crooked Tongue, Ron English. I like a lot of the collaborations. I also really want the all blue pair from the Eco Tonal Pack; we have every color but that one, but I can’t find my size. Because of our rule, we have difficulty finding these shoes and sometimes we can find one size but not the other. For example we just ordered what we thought were the all blue pair. When it was delivered they had Cici’s size, but they sent the wrong sneaker in my size. Turns out they didn’t have my size, so we sent both sneakers back. Cici gave up a pair just because I couldn’t get it. If that ain’t love I don’t know what is. I would do the same for her.
Cici: I want all of them - every suede ever made. (So does Kenny). My dream pair, however, is the Jamaica suedes. I’ve seen them, but could never find them.
In searching for their Suedes, they said “We usually buy on the Puma site, or go to the Puma stores in NYC, or the outlets out here in Long Island. We recently discovered Zappos has a pretty decent selection. Actually through the Instagram Puma community we are slowly discovering more and more websites for shopping which has been pretty awesome. Even through your purapuma website we discovered one or two more sites (yes!).”
As I mentioned above, Kenny and Cici will be having a Puma-themed wedding. The main photo is their Save the Date card (so cute!) and they will be featuring Puma sneakers on their wedding cake. In fact, Cici says they have special ones just for the wedding. She continued, “I won’t let Kenny wear them before that day and I won’t wear mine either. It’s a pair of Medieval Grey/Vivid Blue Suedes. I want them to be nice and clean for our wedding day. We bought the bridal party brown suedes to wear after the ceremony (it’s a beach wedding in Key West, so we want them to be barefoot for the ceremony). And I got the bridesmaids Puma Track jackets and Puma gym sacks as gifts.” The wedding will truly be a celebration of love and Pumas.
I wanted to get their opinion on the availability of Pumas in the United States. Being a part of Instagram means we get to see styles and designs from all over the world and sometimes those are difficult to find here. They said, “We don’t understand why they are so difficult to find here. I remember a time when you could go to a couple of stores and find Suedes without a problem. Journey’s and Athlete’s Foot were the go-to stores back in the day. Now all they have are the “fancier, newer” Pumas. Not that there is anything wrong with those, we just like the classic Suedes and wish they were easier to find. We talk all the time about going to Europe for the sole purpose of shopping for sneakers; we dream of visiting the factory in Germany. We’re hoping that with the growth of the Instagram community and with sites like yours, that Puma will start to realize that there is a pretty solid following here in the US and they will continue to grow their brand here as well. Maybe start getting as big as Nike and Adidas.” I see we have the same shopping dream and, I, like them, also hope that there will be an expansion of styles that are available to the consumer without special ordering or trying to track them down. I do have to admit that I feel a bit of jealousy towards Cici. I had asked her if it was difficult to find Suedes to fit but because she wears a man’s size that is above a size 7 she doesn’t have the same issue as me. Lucky gal!
I wish Cici and Kenny the best in their up-coming wedding and definitely cannot wait to see photos of the cakes, bridal party in Suedes, and more! Be sure to check them out on Instagram - they do post more than shoes and their photos are always creative and fun!