In celebration of unique Japanese culture and sneaker design, PUMA and Mihara Yasuhiro released a collector’s book in March 2007. This luxurious book showcases artwork and photography created by 4 famous Japanese artists, inspired by the PUMA Mihara footwear collection. The book is an ornate chronicle of the PUMA by Mihara sneakers from the first MY1 sneaker to the latest addition MY27.
PUMA by Mihara Yasuhiro began in 2000 with the launch of a sneaker collection, which at the time was revolutionary. Bringing together a wealth of influences of Japanese culture and innovative design, this collection quickly forged admiration from sneaker aficionados.
This was the first PUMA designer collabs and became an integral part in establishing PUMA’s Sport/Fashion vision.
The book opens with the intricate paintings of Akira Yamaguchi, Yamaguchi depicts Japanese classical structures such as the Rakuchu Rakugai Map (cityscape map) and Fukinuke Yatai (houses transparent excepting for pillars), Yamaguchi shows various events and customs in his art and his interpretation is routed in traditional Japanese art.
Makoto Azuma is a contemporary floral sculptor. Azuma began in Tokyo with dreams of becoming a musician, but his interest soon shifted to flowers. Azuma founded the first Japanese haute couture florist "Jardins des Fleurs" at Ginza, Tokyo and has exhibited in New York and Paris. Azuma’s work in the book integrates the sculptural forms of the PUMA Mihara footwear with exquisite floral compositions.
Sandaime Uotake Hamada Shigeo is a famed poet who writes only of "praising himself". Previous artworks by Shigeo include: "Be free", "I bet you’ll get more kisses from me than you got from your ex within three days", "Don’t worry if the world's ended, my shop will be open" and "I keep promises that I haven't promised". Shigeo's work for the book shows abstract script describing the meaning of the PUMA Mihara sneakers.
The fourth Artist is Takao Saito, since his professional debut in 1955, Saito has been known as an innovative Cartoonist in Japan. The success of his comics firmly established him as a pioneer in the new comics called “GEKIGA”- laced with mature themes they have revolutionized the Japanese comic scene today.
In conjunction with the book launch PUMA Mihara introduced the limited edition re-issue of the MY1 to the AW07 collection; The MY1 was the first ever PUMA Mihara sneaker introduced in AW 2000 and has now become a classic for many Puma sneaker freakers around the globe. The canvas is printed with a variation of stars and stripes with an all over cloud embroidery in multiple shades. The PUMA Mihara Collector's book is a visually stimulating testimonial to the work of PUMA and Mihara Yasuhiro and a creative partnership that has helped in establishing the brand as a leader in sneaker design.
A limited amount of the PUMA Mihara collector's book and kicks are still available at Hype DC stores.