Huge news just in overnight from Berlin where a press conference is about to go down. adidas has just bought PUMA. You read that right – Team Trefoil has tamed the Big Cat! After 70 years at loggerheads, the companies – founded by Adolph and Rudi Dassler in their mother’s laundry – have decided to join forces and invade the American footwear market as a united front. Yes indeed, the Three Stripes has finally gained a fourth Formstripe!
It’s an audacious move by adidas, but one that presumably has been brewing for some time. Having bought Reebok back in 2005 for a cool $3.8 billion, the specifics of this deal have not been made public yet, but it is confirmed that PUMA will become yet another lifestyle division at adidas. The combined group’s share of the North American market will explode from 21.8% to approximately 'a little bit more%' after the merger.
For brand loyalists on both sides, the move may seem a total betrayal, but there’s no denying the heavy bromance of a reunited family company. Creatively, the new firm’s corporate colours will now be known as ‘hyper-modern RGB’ – red and green representing PUMA’s twin hues alongside the famous adidas blue. Conjoining corporate logos and patent sharing is another contentious area, as was PUMA’s philosophical aversion to lower case letters. It is believed that adidas’ inexplicably deep-rooted love of lower case typography nearly derailed the monster hook-up at the last minute.
Kanye appears to have played a pivotal role in negotiations. You may recall when PUMA signed Kylie Jenner, Ye was less than impressed. ‘PUMA we gone give you your measly million back. Never try to divide the fam!’ he ranted on Twitter. When the makeup mogul inked her deal, the sibling beef entrenched in PUMA and adidas’ DNA was reinforced once more. However, the days of all-out familial warfare are long gone. Détente is the new black.
One thing is for sure, Yeezy has been secretly wooing adidas’ new wunderkind CEO, Kasper Rørsted for some time, with invites to plushy parties in LA and pre-listens to his new-gen raps. Known for his aggressive business tactics, Rørsted has transformed adidas, tripling the share price and bringing his love of sock technology to the forefront. Rørsted is widely credited behind the scenes as the bona fide genius responsible for NMD, Tubular, Flux, Superstar, Stan Smith, AlphaBOUNCE and of course, BOOST.
Based on the press conference running order that Sneaker Freaker has obtained before the event kicked off, we can confirm that Kanye has designed a truly ridiculous inauguration shoe to celebrate the congress between these two sneaker titans. The leaked image is all we’ve seen prior to the big reveal, but here’s what we have surmised so far.
AND NOW, THE SHOE!
Reportedly known as PAB1.0 (as in PAB-LO – geddit!), this is a creative chimera that brings together PUMA, adidas and BOOST in a 1.0 scheme that sets a new benchmark for hybrid initials and convoluted naming conventions.
It’s also an absolutely chunderous riot of influences and dual-branding. Built on the sole unit of the dud adidas_1 shoe, (which had a prehistoric mechanical widget in the heel to adjust cushioning), BOOST has been added to bring the sponginess perception up to 2017 standards. And since PUMA is involved, it made sense that Trinomic was infused into BOOST for even more superlative performance.
Given Ye’s crazy hands are all over this melangé a deux, it’s not surprising that the ‘Turtle Dove’ Yeezy 350 is the mainstay of the PAB1.0’s upper. Made from rugged hessian sacks, the provincial charm of the 350 is a rustic contrast against the adidas Micropacer’s high-tech computer module, which has been inserted into a mid-foot cavity. Also included is a Bluetooth-activated camera taken from the new iPhone 8. The Leica-lensed micro camera is exclusively designed for stealthy sneaker selfies, completing this technological tour de force.
But wait there’s more! Laces are so ‘last millennium’ and have been replaced with PUMA’s one great moment of ingenuity – the DISC closure system. One fap of the wrist and the shoes auto-lace, cinching them perfectly to your feet. Up top, the disruptive sock from the recent Clyde has been rebuilt using Clima-lite, an artificial waste material supplied by Parley for the Ocean that wicks moisture away from the skin faster than NMDs sell out in JD Sports. Additionally, the DISC-O system from Solange Knowles' own PUMA project has also been added above the ankles to lock-down unwanted shin flex.
The branding was, clearly, Kanye’s biggest challenge. Given the ambitious nature of this corporate hybrid, both ‘3 Stripes’ and ‘Formstripes’ had to represent, and this is indeed the case. Carved from luxurious beaver suede, the classic PUMA stripe is interwoven between 3M reflective stripes swiped from the EQT Support ADV. The symbolism of Ye’s design gesture – drawing both families closer, if you will – is breathtakingly ill.
No word on the release date as yet, but it seems this remarkable shoe will be stocked ONLY at the adidas webstore. As expected on such a momentous occasion, a cultural paradigm tilt-shift has also been calculated, which means that the only way you’ll be able to add the shoe to the shopping cart is by using a secret sneaker bot that is available through the PUMA Snapchat portal for a millisecond tomorrow at noon sharp.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, the sneaker game never ceases to amaze. Who knows what ridiculousness might happen next, but til then, stay tuned to Sneaker Freaker and keep your laces loose!