Whether it's wallpaper and washbags or shoes and scarves, East London's House of Hackney has got the fancy print game on lock, and Puma have recognised their excellent execution of exoticism by handing them the chance to create their own Puma Basket. It's the beginning of a longer relationship between the two, with more footwear and apparel due out later in the year, and HoH have made sure they to arrive to the Puma party as loudly as possible, forging this blaring take on the Basket silhouette. HoH's Hackney Empire print covers the model, featuring some 'humanised animals' and pretty birds with radiant plumage. The House of Hackney x Puma Basket is arriving at Puma retailers right now.
The managing editor of Sneaker Freaker Germany, Daniel Giebel scored some time with HoH co-founder Frieda Gormley to talk about the new sneaker.
SF: First of all, please tell our readers in a few words what they should know about House of Hackney!
DG: House of Hackney sprang onto the London Interiors scene in 2011 when we launched the print driven British brand. Our fashion collections followed by demand. Today House of Hackney is fast becoming a global lifestyle and fashion brand, with its concepts and inspirations rooted deeply in Hackney, East London.
How did this shoe collaboration with Puma come about?
It was really nice when we got the call from Puma to ask if we would like to collaborate with the brand. We were really excited by the opportunity to do so as big fans of what Puma does. Instinctively we thought it could make a great collaboration using our prints and using the classic Puma shapes.
The only other HoH shoes yet were the creepers with Underground and some Vans in 2011 – how do you choose your footwear collaborations?
We choose all our collaborations very carefully. It is nice that we are seen as a popular brand to collaborate with but in truth of the many requests we get, we rarely agree to them unless it's a very special project and we have a connection with the brand. House of Hackney is about exclusivity so it's important to protect that, it's special.
What was the inspiration behind the prints for the pieces with Puma?
The prints we used in our collaboration are some of our most iconic and most loved prints. Within the AW14 range we have used a collection the house's signature prints inspired by the natural world and ranging from the beautiful to the iconic. We don't as a brand do 'plains' but use leopard prints as neutrals and Wild Card is the ultimate leopard print.
How and why did you choose these exact Puma shoe models?
Not only are there different prints in the AW14 collection but there are a variety of silhouettes across footwear and apparel. Myself and Javvy, growing up – before we met – we both in our teens wore Puma trainers and it reminds us of the kind of Brit Pop years and our first trainers were definitely Puma. We were really excited by the opportunity to do so as big fans of what Puma does. The Basket in particular is a classic style that we wanted to put our mark on. Going back into Puma's archive we got a great insight into Puma’s impressive history in performance innovation. The Trinomic technology of the 90s really seems relevant today, with performance silhouettes now becoming visible on the street it was important that we made our mark on this, the Puma R698 was a stand out for us too.
Can you say how many of each pair will be made and where they can be bought?
The Puma x House of Hackney collaboration is global, so as well as our own store in East London, the collection will be available across premium sneaker and lifestyle stores.
The soft fabric on the Basket Classic with the ‘Hackney Empire’ print feels great – what exactly is it?
Our prints are Made in England and the Hackney Empire print which is featured on the Basket Classic is velvet. It is one of our most loved prints and shows a carnival of humanised animals having a great time.
HoH, Maharishi, Liberty ... why is London obviously such a print and pattern happy place?
London is such a melting pot of cultures and colours and it’s clear this ambience makes colour and print very present in London designer’s inspirations. As a city, London clearly has maximalist roots in its architecture and design, which definitely carries through into the print aesthetic.
Can we expect more shoe projects from HoH in the future?
Possibly, but for now we are enjoying the Puma collaboration!