Esquire: Diamond Supply Co. x Puma Go Classic
Posted on 05 December 2016
Few sneaker companies develop a heritage life like Puma. Sure, every brand has its perennial favorites, but the identity of Puma continues to be maintained through core product like the Suedes and Clydes. Many brands try to escape their pasts, running towards the future with highly technical shoes that drive costs down and keep an edge in the athletic space. Puma does all that with its EvoKnits and running shoes fit for the fastest man in the world, but it always comes back to the classics.
So when Nicky Diamonds, founder of streetwear giant Diamond Supply, came to Puma for his latest collaboration, he went straight to those heritage silhouettes because they were important to him and his own past.
"Growing up skateboarding in San Francisco during the early '90s I used to skate in Puma Clydes. Those were my go-to skate shoes," Diamonds says. "I had tons of different colors and it was the first shoe that I actually started collecting…The Puma Clyde always held a special place with me." Diamonds is offering a piece of his own history and affiliations with the brand to the next (and current) generation with his own take on the Clyde in familiar Diamond Supply colors. The collab also includes three different colors of the classic Puma Suede that's been updated for modern skaters.
The Suede originally released in 1968. Back then, sneaker technology wasn't what it is today. The Suede made a very good skate shoe at the time, but purity of heritage is no reason to shirk beneficial technologies, so the silhouette has been updated for skaters. Puma and Diamond Supply have added elastic to the tongue to keep the shoe flexibly locked in place, included perforations in the vamp, a mesh collar lining, and a host of added padding all over the shoe. "The original Clyde is an ode to the early '90s skateboarding scene while the skate version of the Suede has been updated for the modern skater with the new footwear technology and premium materials," explains Diamonds. All over both shoes are supple suedes, plus some embellishments including embossed crocodile skin, which Diamond Supply has adopted as a part of its brand identity.
Diamond Supply has used sneaker collaborations to great effect for bringing new interest to the brand in the past. The Dunks that it created with Nike are one of the sneaker community's favorite dunks ever made—enough so that they were brought back to the market a second time in a slightly different incarnation. They are commonly referred to as the "Tiffany Dunks" on account of the light blue color that the brand uses pretty frequently.
The "Tiffany" obviously comes from the jewelry giant and the color of its iconic boxes, but it's a misnomer. The color's actual name is something completely different, and predates the Dunk. "Sneaker enthusiasts nicknamed that colorway 'Tiffany' when we released a limited-edition sneaker back in 2005, but the color is actually 'Diamond Blue' which we have been using since 2004," Diamonds explains. "The Diamond Blue colorway is usually saved for specialty items and collaborations; it is also included in the hundreds of products that we make each year but we aren't limited to it. I love that color."
You'll find the Diamond Blue on the Clyde, and as one of the tonal pairs of Suedes, which are also releasing in Black and Cream. The Clyde already dropped on Black Friday at Diamond Supply stores, but it'll appear at other retailers this weekend for $110. The Suedes are set to drop December 10 for $100.