Puma Suede Classic Rudolf Dassler History
The Puma brand, after establishing its credibility as shoe manufacturer wanted a company logo to further its aims of being globally recognized. Dassler first used a sans-serif brand font in 1957with picture logo. The following year, the second Puma brand logo now included as the Formstrip. The design accent was initially intended to stabilize the foot inside the shoe and later on would be the typical trademark one would see in Puma shoes. In 1967, Nuremberg cartoonist Lutz Backes made a logo of the jumping cat that is now recognized all over the world.
The Puma Suede was first introduced to the public during the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico. Young sprinter Tommie Sprint first wore the shoes in the podium after winning gold the 200-meter sprint competition. All eyes were on the boots the young athlete was holding. Smith waved his shoe as part of a human rights protest action. The shoe he has been wearing which drew more interest to the suede upper and classy silhouette of the sneakers. The OG Puma Suede trainer had a thick rubber outsole and a smooth profile with full suede upper that is different from the leather or canvas shoes released at the time.
For many sneaker fans, however, the Puma Suede was better known as the inspiration behind the Puma Clyde. Before it was branded as Puma Suede, the historic shoe was dubbed as the Puma Clyde in honor of the great American basketball player Walt “Clyde” Frazier who had the pairs customized in 1973 to suit his needs in the basketball court.
New York Knicks stalwart Frazier was known for his signature style on the court and amazing steals that lead to successful games. Puma reconfigured their old design for the Puma Suede making them lighter and broader. The basketball player extensively endorsed the Puma Suede which was later on labeled on the lateral side of the shoe as Clyde. Frazier wore his Clydes in alternating form strips, setting a new trend in the court.
From being a favorite basketball shoe in the 1970s, the Puma Suede the popularity of the design slowly diminished in the late 1980s. The low-top model soon took a new audience from the usual athletes into rock music icons to hip-hop stars. It’s simple to clean silhouette and vintage looks appealed so much with the street style and hip-hop generation that has stuck until now becoming one of the iconic sneakers of all time. To date, the Puma Suede is the brand’s bestselling design of all time.
On its 50th year, the company has collaborated with music icons and other allied brands, and industry icons to come up with limited edition designs for the Puma Suede. The first design that was released in anticipation of the 50th anniversary year in 2018 was the Puma Suede Classic Rudolf Dassler. Some 49 other design of the Puma Suede is slated to be released in 2018 that includes collaborations with Big Sean, streetwear brand Fubu, cosmetic giant MAC, and Hello Kitty brand among others. The tribute to the brand’s founder design came out in November 2017 in Japan and later on in other countries through various retailers. As part of the Puma Suede’s 50th-year campaign, Tommie Smith was tapped by Puma to endorse the Puma Suede Classic Rudolf Dassler as the runner detailed how the shoe became an iconic silhouette that has captivated audiences with the simplicity of its design and supple suede material.