Friday, 22 November 2013

Media Release: PUMA Celebrates the 5th Anniversary of Sneaker Freaker’s Blaze of Glory with a Limited Edition Re-Issue Pack


























PUMA and SNEAKER FREAKER have once again joined forces, this time to commemorate the release of their first collaboration together.  As notorious as it was successful, Sneaker Freaker’s ‘Great White’ version of PUMA’s Blaze of Glory runner hit the street in April 2008.  Melding sleek silver-grey nubuck suede with gummy pink pops, aqua blue and blood red highlights, the subversive shark-themed design was met with a profound and positive response.  Five years later, in celebration of the enduring success of the project, an exclusive double release of the Blaze of Glory - in both original colours and with a new lightweight version - will be released on Sneaker Freaker online on Saturday, November 23rd, 2013 and then globally, at selected sneaker boutiques on Saturday, November 30th, 2013.    

Founded in 2002 by Simon “Woody” Wood from Melbourne, Australia, Sneaker Freaker magazine is the world’s first and only global sneaker magazine.  Widely admired for its frank and humorous approach to analysing footwear, Sneaker Freaker’s globally influential role has helped shape the industry over the past decade.  The magazine is sold in over 40 countries and also published in Russian, Spanish and German.

As Wood cheekily confesses, “I started the magazine purely with the idea of getting loads of free shoes.  That part came true, but I had no idea how my life would turn out.  For ten years I have been traveling the world documenting sneaker culture.  Designing a PUMA with my name on it was a pipe dream before I started Sneaker Freaker.  This particular collaboration project is a very special memory.”

Back in 2008, PUMA released two versions of the Blaze of Glory in collaboration with Sneaker Freaker.  The first was known as the ‘Great White’ and the second release was known as the ‘Black Beast’.  Laden with subtle references to sharks in the form of anodized tooth jewels, triangulated attack logos and a translucent Trinomic ‘river of blood’ sole, the ‘Great White’ and ‘Black Beast’ Blaze of Glory’s sold out in seconds all over the globe.  A third Friends and Family Blaze of Glory version was made from exotic and genuine sharkskin and stealthily given away in limited numbers.

“We found a supplier of real shark skin leather and convinced PUMA to make some exclusive pairs,” Wood recalls.  “The shark leather turned out to be super wrinkly, surprisingly tough and
blacker than the ace of spades.  We will never see shark leather used again in footwear. They were just so beautiful.

Some five years later, the PUMA x SNEAKER FREAKER Blaze of Glory have cemented their status in the history books as arguably PUMA’s most successful collaboration projects of all time.  Revisiting such an iconic collaboration has never really been done before, but sheer demand and interest in the shoes convinced Wood that the timing was right and the idea was sound.

States Wood, “Out of all the shoes I have created, this is the one project I still get asked about all the time.  As they are so fondly remembered, I thought it would be nice to see them back on the streets again.  Rules are meant to be broken and even I would love a fresh pair of the Blaze of Glory as much as anyone.”

Under Wood’s direction, the Blaze of Glory shoes were remade with selective amendments and as identical to the originals.  The satin sock-lining is now colour coded, the lush nubuck has been fettled with a deep emboss that mimics sharkskin and a performance inner sole has been inserted to ramp up comfort.  The Blaze of Glory LTWT is made up of lightweight neoprene mesh with an innovative twist using welded synthetics and reflective materials.  Signature features like the shark tooth jewels, diamond-like logo and the fluorescent pink pop intact on the Blaze of Glory OG black shoe, are still maintained on the re-issued versions. 

The PUMA x Sneaker Freaker Blaze of Glory 5th Anniversary pack will be sold in an oversize custom box complete with foam padding and embossed with the project’s trademark diamond ‘shark attack’ logo, no doubt creating an even bigger splash this time around. 

The PUMA x Sneaker Freaker Blaze range will be available in Shelflife stores in South Africa from 2 December 2013. RRP: R2499.00. For further information visit www.puma.com or call 021 551 0832.


From The Desk of: Christine Pearson | Splash PR | 021 447 1208 | christine@splashpr.co.za