It seems as though every single week there’s a collab shoe dropping from each of the major brands, so much in fact that its lost a lot of the “specialness” it once had. Sometimes, however, there’s a collab that is so good that it actually does get you excited and this is one of those cases. Puma alongside New York-based Kith and Highsnobiety, launched a collaborative sneaker pack dubbed “A Tale of Two Cities” to mark the lifestyle media agency’s 10th anniversary. The shoes are comprised of classic Trinomic silhouettes, the Blaze of Glory and R698, re-worked by Kith founder Ronnie Fieg. While I could have done without the speckled print on the midsoles overall both shoes are amazing.
The first of two PUMA sneakers within the collaborative collection, the Blaze of Glory x HS x Kith USA dons a Star-Spangled Banner theme of navy, red, and white. This new model adds elements such as co-branded forefoot straps and a quilted upper to the Blaze of Glory. The tongue tabs further the motif; as asymmetrical stars-and-stripes deboss patterns reside beneath the tonal branded laces. Red accents and a speckled Trinomic midsole are the final touches on this updated runner.
The second pair in the collection takes on a much more drastic redesign by Fieg, the R698 x HS x Ronnie Fieg. Deriving a stronger Euro-influence, this sleek model sports a black premium nubuck quilted upper with bright pops of red seen on the rear midsole and front outsole. This new silhouette updates the R698 by removing the tongue and adding a mesh-neoprene inner-sock. The upper is also deconstructed, as panels were removed to allow the classic Puma form stripes to wrap all the way around the shoe. Due to its fast-paced Ducati-like appearance, Fieg added a moto-deboss pattern to the heel wrap. Additional design cues include 3M German flag inserts on the medial form stripes and co-branded tongue patches.
Each pair is packaged inside a custom box displaying graphics of each trainer’s respective country. These boxes also effectively double as standing magazine holders, tying the entire story together, and allowing customers to exhibit their Highsnobiety Magazine collection in proper fashion.
A special KITH-edition of Highsnobiety’s 10th Anniversary Issue will accompany in- store pairs of purchased sneakers. 100 copies will be included – at random to select online orders – of both pairs of sneakers via Kithnyc.com. Produced in very limited quantities, this mag features a black cover with a metallic silver KITH logo that scratches off to reveal a split USA-Germany flag graphic.
The PUMA x Ronnie Fieg x Kith x Highsnobiety Collection, retailing at $160 was available today at KITH Manhattan (644 Broadway), KITH Brooklyn (233 Flatbush Ave), Soto Berlin (Torstraße 72) and online at KithNYC.com at 11AM EST. but are more than likely long gone by now.