A few words with Michael Lau…

We were lucky enough to speak with Michael Lau before his Puma Suede 50 “Sample Suede” collaboration drops this weekend.

Q: Hi Michael, thanks for taking the time to talk to us, and congratulations on your PUMA Suede 50 collaboration, but before we get into the shoe, and for those unfamiliar with you and your work, can you give us a bit of background about yourself?

A: I have always been interested in art and design even as a kid, so naturally I started picking up painting as I grew up, also i was into toy collection, especially the vintage G.I. Joe 12” action figures were my top hunt.  I got inspired by the street culture in the 90s, which was probably the start and the boom of the street culture, so merging with my passion in toys, I created the Gardener series of 99 characters in 12” action figure form for an exhibition at the Hong Kong Art Centre, my career took off from there.  I later picked up vinyl as a medium to produce limited edition toys, that had since launched the designer toy movement. 

Q: What memories do you have of PUMA from growing up in Hong Kong?

A: I remember Suede. Everyone knows Suede as its classic and iconic to street culture. There is a Gardener from my creation also wearing a pair of Suede. Only classic, one of a kind, street culture worth to be part of the Gardener designs.

Q: The PUMA Suede is obviously a timeless silhouette, and with it being the 50th anniversary of the silhouette, how did you approach working on such a classic style?

This project started long ago before PUMA has 50th anniversary campaign concept. A few close friends worked in PUMA, and we started on the conversation around 3 years ago to explore possibilities of creating some fun projects together. That time, I picked Suede, which is such a classic silhouette also from the brand point of view.

Q: What inspired your Suede 50 collaboration?

A: Firstly, the prototype of sneaker culture, that’s why you see a lot of unfinished-finishing like the changing of the foam stripe trademark, that gave us some roadblocks for the project earlier, because it involves an amendment of the logo of the brand. And later on, the Suede 50 came about that is about celebrating 50 years of the Suede designs, therefore I selected 7 types of grey shades to apply on to the shoes to show the history of this iconic classic. Also to create a sense of aging, gracefully and elegantly.

Q: Does working on footwear differ much from what your day-to-day designing?

A: The medium is different, but inspirations and creativity always comes from my everyday life, it’s hard to identify creativity in a very defined and structured way. Ideas always comes in one big part and then they spread their ways according to where they belong to, you just need to be able to grasp them and to pull them together in your style and language.

You can grab a pair of the Puma Suede 50 x Michael Lau “Sample Suede” from us here when they drop on Saturday 20th of January at 00:01GMT.