In the wake of his signing with Neymar, Puma adds to his football scoreboard. The sports giant is teaming up with cult street wear brand KidSuper.
Puma and KidSuper collaborate on a capsule collection inspired by the love of football of Colm Dillane, founder of KidSuper. There will be two drops with the first stores this week, September 17th.
KidSuper x Puma offers clothing, accessories and five styles of footwear – KidSuper takes on the Puma Style Rider, Nitefox, Cell Dome Sock, Oslo City and Wilo. The look is retro and colorful with football-inspired prints and KidSuper scribble graphics.
While all of the shoes in the collection are archival or current models from Puma, the Cell Dome sock is based on a 60s running shoe with Velco closures. “He was banned from the 1968 Olympics because he was considered too high-tech for the time,” Dillane laughed. “I was like, ‘I MUST use this.’
Since launching KidSuper 10 years ago, the brand has grown organically, with Dillane doing localized, small-scale personalization projects with Nike and Adidas in New York City. This, however, is his first major global collaboration.
We discussed the project earlier this summer, on a WhatsApp call. Dillane was at home in New York City, filling the hastily dug pool in his Brooklyn backyard to fight soaring temperatures. Because that’s how it rolls.
“It takes up all the space,” he says. “You can’t even open the door now, so you have to jump out the second story window. I’m thinking of charging the public $ 20 for a swim. “
He may or may not have joked on the last track. After all, this is the guy who started his entrepreneurial career selling T-shirts in his school cafeteria and started KidSuper while studying.
Dillane revealed that all three of the big sportswear brands contacted him, but he chose Puma because they were giving him the best deal.
In fact, Puma gave him totally free reign, he said.
“They allowed me to do whatever I wanted, like completely redoing the rod,” he said. The only stipulation was that he had to use Puma soles. He admits he was shocked. “I couldn’t believe they would approve of what I wanted to do.”
Designers can often take their brand partnerships for granted, added the KidSuper founder. “You see a lot of collaborations making a lot of noise, but often doing nothing but changing the colors.”
So what does this kind of partnership do for a brand like KidSuper – currently only sold through its own e-commerce, tiny boutique-studio in Brooklyn, and a handful of specialty stores?
“We will now be sold in all Puma stores around the world, that legitimizes it and takes us to the next level,” he said, adding that he was also verifying many of his childhood dreams.
In addition to the first KidSuper x Puma capsule, he also created a football cleat, as part of a product release slated for later this year involving Arsenal football star Héctor Bellerín.
“He’s the football fashion guy and even walked for Louis Vuitton,” Dillane said, revealing that Bellerin had already created the shoe. He wore a prototype version during a training session in June.
Dillane played on the youth team of Brazilian soccer club Vitoria when he was in high school and still plays for a local club in New York. Instead of the traditional models, it is his teammates who are represented in the collection’s lookbook.
According to Dillane, over 20,000 shoes are produced and he is keen to challenge the current market concern with limited editions. “Some people want to keep the numbers really low, but I think the freshness doesn’t have to come from exclusivity,” he observed. “It’s more what you do creatively as a brand.”
On the theme of creativity, in addition to having free rein on the creations, Dillane also had carte blanche in their promotion. He chose to make his own seven-episode KidSuper x Puma animated series called SCRAM.
It features comic book versions of Bellerín, Usain Bolt, Jessie Reyez, Meechy Darko, Lolo Zouai, West Side Gun and Lil Tecca.
It was created by Dillane in collaboration with artist Rhymez as Dimz. The series which will air on the KidSuper YouTube channel from September 16 has already been teased on billboards in Times Square in New York City.
Dillane made her Paris catwalk debut in June 2019 as part of a series of American brands testing the waters of the French capital. Typically, her Spring 21 runway show was a creative highlight of Paris Fashion Week online in July.
It was a stop motion animation featuring Barbie dolls with 3D printed heads in the image of Dillane’s heroes, including soccer players Pelé, Ronaldo and Maradona. All of them wore of course in miniature versions from the collection.
“What I liked about virtual shows was that I felt everyone was on the same ground, so it was more of a creativity competition than a budget,” he concluded.
And speaking of budget, the prices for the Puma collab are affordable at startup, ranging from $ 40 to $ 200. Puma.com
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