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.”
At 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.