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Sep 16

Meet Justin: Puma Collector

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It has been awhile since I have done an interview with a Puma collector.  I decided to get back to it with my Puma friend, Justin Oliver. As with most of us Puma people we connected via Instagram in the sharing of our beloved Pumas.  Puma people are special. It always seems like the whole world is so focused on Nike and we’re just here with our suedes and wondering why others don’t get why Puma is the greatest. These interviews shed some light on that.

Puma Collection

Justin’s love of shoes started in elementary school where he would pass the time drawing and designing his how shoes. Colors, logos, designs… that was his thing. Also, he was intent on having the same shoes as his favorite athlete. He said, “…that meant an array of brands. The sneaker world to a kid in the 90s was a lot different than the sneaker world we know today.” Fresh out of high school Justin was working in the mall and had some good friends who were wearing Pumas.  Justin went out and, “bought a brand new pair of red/white Puma Easy Riders. After that, I bought a few pairs of Puma Roma’s and my love/addiction to Puma was born.” Now, collecting has become somewhat of an addiction (that many of us can identify with). But beyond that, Justin loves Puma and chooses the company because, “…it’s a combination on style and comfort. A simple pair of suede classics can be paired with any outfit. Or you can find a style for whatever outfit or activity you have going on at that time. Also, I believe the quality of most the styles have stayed consistent opposed to other brands that have started using cheaper materials.”

Justin went on to say, “For many years I had a collection of Pumas that consisted of about 20 or so pairs. I think with the rise of popular social media sites, such as Instagram, came an outlet to share my passion with friends – not just in the States but all over the world. It really fueled this addiction and in the last 3-4 years my collection exploded into a packed closet (with overflow in several other rooms and hand-me-downs going to my father since there wasn’t always room to keep everything).”

Right now Justin’s collection is right around 100 pairs (give or take a few he said). He has started to sell or give away a few pairs. He replied, “I just realized I don’t have time to wear them all and partially to use that money to buy new/more desired pairs. I feel comfortable with that number. I believe if space and finances weren’t an issue it would be a lot worse.Even with this amount of shoes there are still a few that Justin would love to add to his collection. His first ‘Holy Grail’ is the 2006 YO! MTV Raps Puma Clyde ‘Forever Fresh’.  Justin grew up watching YO! MTV Raps and loved the hip hop music of the day (even as a young middle class white kid who sometimes got laughed at for trying to emulate the style). That shoe embodies everything he loved about that time period.

His second ‘Holy Grail’ is the Goonies Puma Disc.  As Justin said, “The materials and details of the pair and the packaging are amazing and its inspiration is from the best movie ever made!”   Although both of these pairs can be located on Ebay now and then he does have a limit of how much he would spend on any one pair of shoes.

Any shoe collector faces the scrutiny of friends and family. There are the questions like, “Are you ever going to wear all of those?” or “Do you really need another pair of suedes?” And the answer is most often, “Yes. Yes we do.” Justin’s family may think he is crazy but they are still supportive and he receives Pumas for gifts. His wife is very kind and allows him one pair a month (within budget).

I asked Justin how he felt Puma was doing as a brand. They do lag behind some of the other brands here in the United States and have been taking steps to revitalize their image and shoes.  Justin comments are, “I feel Puma is doing a good job moving forward as a brand. Lots of recent collaborations with some important sneaker names have definitely made the brand more noticeable. I personally love the collabs with UNDFTED, Anwar Carrots, and ALIFE in the United States. These names are huge when comes to street fashion. Also, I believe Puma has a great core of athletes as brand ambassadors such as Rickie Fowler and Usain Bolt. They also have signed several celebrities who will move the brand into the spot light. I like the “attitude” and “edge” the brand carries at this time.” The brand has inspired Justin to buy more than just shoes – he’s currently in love with the cuffed sweatpants for men and owns shirts, hoodies, and hats.

Finally, I wanted to know what Justin’s top 5 shoes are – hard choices for any collector. The top 5 in his rotation are his BioWebs, ALIFE “Silver Bullet”, 698s, ALIFE x Stuck Up 698s, Tropicalli Discs, and a beater pair of blue/yellow Cabana Racers. Those are some really nice daily-rotation choices.  Now for his actual top 5 that he owns:

  1. Puma x ALIFE. During Justin’s first trip to NYC he stopped by ALIFE during the release of the collaboration. Although he was early, the owners let him in so he could watch the set-up. He was able to pick up a pair of the sudes but they also treated him to a free t-shirt, bag, and a wrist-band to the RedMan concert.
  2. 2001 Red/White Easy Riders. This was his first pair and although he had passed them on to his father, his father has kept them and made sure they are preserved (that’s a great Dad!).
  3. 1995 Puma Suede Tan/Natural. This is his ‘vintage’ pair and is deadstock. That’s always special to a collector.
  4. Puma x The List ’93 Original Suede Green Flash. Although released just a couple of years ago it is much like the YO MTV Series with the bright colors and style of the 90s.
  5. Puma x Alexander McQueen Rocket – Lipstick Red. This is special because of the highest quality materials and top-notch leather. Justin loves it for the details and the flip-down tongue that is a lot like the old-school soccer/baseball cleats.

I’d like to thank Justin for taking time to answer my questions. Be sure to flip through the photo gallery and to visit him on Instagram!  Do you know a Puma collector that should be interviewed? If so, let me know!

 

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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.

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Nov 02

Birthday Pumas

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Happy Birthday to me!

Turning 41 isn’t exactly my idea of a fantastic birthday. I don’t like to think of myself as 41. I don’t feel 41. I don’t really think I look 41. But I’ve come to accept it. Kind of.

Anyway…. I decided to buy myself some Pumas. Big surprise, right? I had found these Pearls on Amazon.com a long time ago. I saw them and wanted them. I love the color, the design on in the insole, and thought they were unique. It wasn’t too long ago though that Puma had announced their Puma Factory. I really want to design my own and order those so I was debating on which direction I should take. Some Puma friends said make my own. Others said to order the Pearls. I finally, obviously, decided on the Pearls. I’ll make my own Pumas soon. Now I just need to find the right shirt/clothes to wear with this mint green color.

 

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Aug 15

Pumas by Sergio RossiI wear heels every day to work. Well, pretty much everyday. During the winter I have some flatter boots but generally, I wear heels. The pants I buy are usually a tad too long on me so heels help them not to drag. Plus I just look good in them. *humble* Now and then sneaker companies come out with heeled versions of their shoes. More times than not they just look like sneakers with heels on them. That really doesn’t interest me. If I want sneakers, I’ll buy sneakers. Same for heels. I really don’t want to take my Clyde’s and just stick heels on them.  You can see examples of this by Adidas (sample 2), Nike, and even Converse. If   some women like those shoes – fantastic!  I kinda think the Converse ones are cute but I wouldn’t wear them.

Sure, I’m biased where Puma is concerned but ever since they released the Sergio Rossi heels I’ve loved them. They are chic. They are fashionable. And even better, while they have Puma styling they don’t just look like a pair of suedes with heels on them. I love Mary Janes and I know that these would look amazing on me – if I could afford them. Rossi comes with a high price tag and although I found them on sale… $300 is still a high price for them.

Puma Clydes Heels The site also had black Sergio Rossi Clyde heels. They actually look a lot like a pair of patent leather tie up shoes I already have in my closet. These do have very clear Puma detailing on them but I could definitely wear them to work and no one would think they were sneaker heels. The heels are higher than I normally wear but I’d suffer through it for how good they look.

For a limited time you can go to 6pm.com and buy yourself a pair. Or even better – buy me a pair. I’d be forever happy if you did.

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Jul 18

Puma Whirlwinds & Detroit Lions

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Puma Whirlwinds for Detroit LionsYup! I put both of those in the subject. You may not realize it but I am a huge Detroit Sports fan. I grew up in Michigan and I don’t waiver from my teams. For as long as I can remember I’ve loved the Lions and the Pistons. Sure, I love the Red Wings too – they do provide us with wins and championships when the other teams are sucking wind – but  the Lions and Pistons are my teams. In fact, I am pretty sure Isiah Thomas used to rep for Puma shoes back in the day. I have that  stuck in my mind from about 7th grade.

Now that the Detroit Lions are climbing the ranks in the NFL it is more fun to wear my gear. In the past I’d get the pity looks and comments like, “You are such a good fan wearing that jersey when the team is 0-16.”  So now that I can wear my shirts with pride I needed some shoes to match. I’ve been checking out shoes for the past 6 months trying to find just the right pair. These aren’t perfect but they are close. They look really good with my tshirts. I think I need something different for my jerseys though because they are a different shade of blue – more brilliant. Of course looking from the jersey to my feet – you can’t really tell.

My next pair will probably be black with a blue stripe. Puma had some but they didn’t come in unisex sizes (argh) so I couldn’t buy them. These are kids shoes actually. I’m proud to say that they were on sale & I got them 40% off so they were a fantastic buy.

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Jun 26

My Pumas from Spain

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pumas from SpainA few years ago I made a two week trip to Spain. It was pretty awesome.  I went to so many different cities it would be ridiculous to list them all. I was able to see where Real Madrid played (I still kick myself for not trying to get inside – I think we just walked by but I should have tried). I ate great food – a ton of different kinds of ham and cheese which made me fat. I saw really old stuff. I also shopped. I really didn’t buy any clothes because quite honestly the sizes were weird and I felt fat in that country.

I had been worried about shoes. They always warn Americans, “Don’t just wear sneakers in Europe – it is a dead give away that you’re American and you’ll look ridiculous.”  Well I didn’t want to look ridiculous but I wasn’t going to leave them at home either. Naturally I took my Pumas (a pair to be featured later) along with some incredible Börn sandals. As I walked around Madrid I noticed one thing – Pumas were the sneaker of choice. All that talk that Europeans don’t wear sneakers went out the door. I felt free to wear mine. Now I did stick out because apparently they don’t wear shorts. I wore my shorts and just dealt with the stares.

One day we were down near the beach and went into this big store full of beach wear, clothes, and sneakers. So many sneakers. I had been looking for some red and white Pumas for awhile but hadn’t seen any I liked. Plus, it seemed that most of the time they didn’t make them for women. I went upstairs and it was like a beam of light came out of the sky and landed on the pair featured here. I loved them. Although I’m not fluent in Spanish (especially in Spain) I am pretty good where shopping is concerned. The sales woman brought me my size and they fit perfectly. I believe they were about $80 in Euros but I knew that no one in the States would have a similar pair.

 I keep these fairly clean and they still look good 4 years later. They are comfortable and people always comment on them. I like that they are unique and stand out!

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Jun 25

I have moments when I buy Pumas because I love how they look.  I think we all do that – we see a shoe and it speaks to us. Or we decide we need a shoe in navy because, well, we don’t have one in that color. I often browse shoes with that in mind. Then there are those times when you just need a comfortable shoe. Granted, it helps a whole lot if that shoe also looks good.

One day I was wandering DSW as I often do. I walk around the store dreaming of all the shoes I’d like to own but can never afford to buy. I try on the outrageous heels. I try on the flats that just are boring to me. And sometimes I make it to the back where the sneakers are kept. I don’t go back there that often because it isn’t like they are going to have Clydes or suedes. They focus mostly on athletic shoes.  However, I walked back there just to see what Pumas they might have and I saw these brown Pumas. First, I didn’t have any dark brown Pumas. I figured that’s a good color to have. Second, I liked the fuschia accents on the shoes. I love pink so that’s cool. Third, I turned them over and saw that the soles were smooth. I actually thought that perhaps they might work for dancing because of the soles. So I tried them on. Wow. Total comfort.

I walked around a bit in the shoes and went back and forth on if I should buy them. They were fairly cheap so price wasn’t the issue. I don’t buy just to buy. Money is precious – I don’t want to part with it just on a whim. I took off the shoes and left the store.   Needless to say I was back the next day buying the shoes. I couldn’t pass up the comfort. As it turned out, they aren’t ready for the dance floor. The sole is the type of rubber that grips. I can’t spin in the shoes so until I wear them around a bit and smooth out the sole, I can’t dance in them.  I would say they are the most comfortable Pumas I have ever owned.  I don’t wear them too much because I want them to stay comfortable. Kudos Puma for a very fine shoe!!

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Jun 21

New Post via My Phone

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First post via my phone – I’m pretty excited!!

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May 12

My White Puma Basket Shoes

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Puma Sneakers White BasketAh these shoes… I love them. They match everything and are comfortable. I believe I found these like two years ago at the Outlets for $20. Yup. Just $20. The black and white appealed to me because I always love having a pair of sneakers that match everything and anything. These are Puma “Basket”.  I recently cleaned them up (Mr. Clean Eraser) and my mom thought they were brand new! That’s why it is always important to keep the sneakers clean and fresh! It isn’t always possible but with these type of Pumas they clean up really well.

These are women shoes. So good job Puma! Keep giving us women some great designs that can equal what you produce for the boys.

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May 01

I think I do a pretty good job of buying a variety of Puma shoes. I love the suede’s. The Clyde’s. The running shoes. I try to purchase a variety of colors as well because I like to have a pair of Pumas to match anything I am going to wear. Yesterday’s outfit included purple/pink EcoLite Ortho running shoes. They are as light as air. I wouldn’t actually use these for running as they aren’t what my feet need but I do love wearing them around. I got a lot of compliments on these at softball practice as well as on Instagram. So you know they look good.

I paired the shoes with my purple Puma hoodie and black Puma capri sweats. Unfortunately not warm enough for the weather we had last night and consequently I am home sick today. But I looked good!!

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