The godfather of urban vinyl toys, Hong Kong artist Michael Lau, joins PUMA to create a masterpiece to honour the Suede’s 50th anniversary.
World-renowned for his collectible designer toy figures and freehand-style illustrations, Lau takes his bold and brilliant technique to the Suede in a collaboration #ForAllTime.
The PUMA x Michael Lau “SAMPLE SUEDE” takes its inspiration from the sample sneakers that brands produce as a model for production or to send to sports icons for final testing. Lau gives the iconic silhouette a protoypical feel by using work-in-progress details like the zig-zag finishing of the fabric sample along the Formstripe, lacing and tongue. To add to the sample concept, “50 Sample Suede Not For You Only For Me” is embossed on the heel of the shoe.
The Chinese character for “sample” is designed on a sample swatch for the tongue and sockliner. An ‘L’ is on the heel tab of the left kick, an ‘R’ on the right. These imaginative touches make the several shades of grey included in the Suede’s plush upper all the more intricate. The right shoe features lighter greys, the left darker. It’s a mix-matched magnum opus. And the white laces and thick, textured sole frame the work perfectly. The insole is taken from the form that the factory fills out when identifying a sample – with the style name, article number, colourway code and factory code.
“A lot of the times when I come up with a sneaker design, it might not be for everyone. I rather think of them as creations that are for collecting. I guess that is because I approach it like artwork,” Lau muses.
A true visionary, Lau takes the collab further by creating “Worth Cat,” a limited-edition autographed figurine inspired by the shape of the sample tag and the PUMA Cat. Each figure represents one of the seven shades used on the sneaker and bears different expressions.
Even the box builds up anticipation, Worth Cat and fabric swatch illustrations in a multitude of grays cover the box and its specially wrapped so it’s not just an unboxing. It’s like unsealing a mystery of mastery.
The PUMA x Michael Lau “SAMPLE SUEDE” will be launching on Saturday 20th of January – ONLINE 00:01GMT and INSTORE 10:00GMT.
In the meantime, check out our with Michael Lau, where we spoke about his craft, growing up in Hong Kong, and his work with Puma.
We will have 15 very special limited edition Michael Lau toys (pictured below) available for the INSTORE launch ONLY when you buy a pair!
Puma Suede 50 x Michael Lau “Sample Suede”
PUMA WHITE-STEEL GREY
Launch: Saturday 20th January – ONLINE; 00:01GMT / INSTORE; 10:00GMT