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atmos Pump20 Interview / Tokyo Party Recap

Date: November 23 2009

By: Sneaker Freaker

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With Pump20 celebrations rocking around the planet, Reebok Japan took things to a whole new level with a party high in the sky over Tokyo. Giant projected Pump20 images seemed to float over the dazzling cityscape below, with the star attraction being the neon-speckle stunner by Atmos. We caught up with Atmos' Sato Yuichi for a quick tour and some exclusive pics of the party. With break dancing from a posse of fluoro ninjas and an eerie gallery where each of the Pump20 kicks were shrink-wrapped in alien membrane, the Tokyo launch scored full marks. Special thanks to our honorary SF cadet Aude Boyer for her remarkable photos from the evening… check them out below!

Hey ATMOS. How is Tokyo these days? 
Fashion here keeps evolving steadily. Sneakers are becoming more important in the fashion market and have started attracting the attention of more women too.

Last time I was in Harajuku it was very obvious that all the sneaker resellers had disappeared from the area. Is this an indication that sneakers are no longer as important in Tokyo fashion?
Many sneaker shops have disappeared from Harajuku, but the ones with their own sense of originality have survived.

Well lucky for everyone, Atmos is still going strong! Let’s go back to 1989. Did Reebok exist in Japan at this point? Was the original Pump ever released in Tokyo?

I was born in 1982… I was seven years old then so I’m not familiar with the ’89 Pumps. So I went and checked it out… it was 1990 that Pumps came to Japan. Only three hundred pairs arrived here and they sold out immediately.

Atmos has created a few Pumps before for Reebok. Is Pump highly regarded by current Japanese sneakerheads?
Japanese sneakerheads immediately identify Reebok with the Pump. The Pump Fury is particularly prized… it goes beyond fashion. It is loved by people from both the street scene and the high fashion world.


Nice work on your version by the way. I really think the Atmos might be my favorite. I dig the colours – the purple pops on the matte black upper are supernice and you can’t go wrong with a speckle. Does it glow in the dark as well?

Thank you Woody! Yes, those speckles are glow in the dark!

Many of the other stores tried to tell a story with their shoe. Did you consider this as an option? Is it still relevant to the Japanese Atmos consumer to tell stories with products?

Atmos always regards the concept and the story of each product as important… that hasn’t changed. We have to continue to convey the best aspects of sneakers to our Japanese fans.

And last but not least. What is your favorite Pump of all time?

Pump Fury tricolor (1996) and the Pump Fury purple color (1996).

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