It isn’t often that a brand’s PR email evokes memories from decades ago. When Puma’s PR in India wrote to me inviting me to a footwear collection launch party, the first thought that ran through my mind was, “OMG wow! Who would have thought that I’d ever be invited by this brand for anything, let alone a party with Boris Becker! I wish I could find those old Pumas I had.”
I couldn’t make it to the party but they did send over this great pair of shoes that I’ve worn more than a few times since I got them. I had to clean them up before I could photograph them – they’re white shoes. I only cleaned them up once I’d been able to establish all points of the story that I wanted to share. ( It involved looking through decade old photograph albums, which one usually doesn’t need an excuse for. )
I’ll start with photographs of details of the #GameSetBecker shoes that the brand sent over – in 2016 ( December ). As with all my footwear, I prefer to wear them with the laces untied. They’re a heavy, chunky pair of shoes. They make me feel and look a whole lot younger than I am. Wearing fat socks makes it easier on my feet – it’s going to take a lot of wearing to break-in these shoes.
Back in around 2006/2008, I’d purchased my first pair of Puma shoes when I was in Bombay. I was ( and still am ) in love with the crimson and turquoise color combination. Almost everything I saw that was on sale in that color combination, I wanted in my wardrobe. The idea behind the color combination was tied to this concept I had for my graphic design brand “aside”. The idea was that as turquoise colored salmon swim upstream to spawn, once they spawn, they turn crimson and die. After having given birth to a new generation. It symbolized the “phoenix from the ashes” metaphor without being completely fantastical. I’d taken the liberty to tweak the colors a bit but salmon are real fish and they do this each season in some part of the planet that I inhabit. Always a realist. Dreaming of big things. Contradictions are my forte.
I still have this pair. It’s suede and pretty worn out.
Before I could afford to buy my own shoes, I used to wear Mom’s pair of Puma shoes. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of me wearing those shoes but I was able to find some photographs of my Mom wearing them. They had velcro fasteners, were made in the USA – leather – and lasted decades before they were given away – still not thrown away. In the photo below, it’s obvious who my Mom is. In the one below that, in the brown jacket, extreme right. Further below, two photos of her in the yellow kurta, celebrating Diwali. Another one of hers in the brown jacket at a firing range. Followed by two more photographs of her wearing a blue half-sleeved shirt.
Most of these photographs are from the early 90’s. 1990 and then maybe one from 1993.
Pretty fun going down memory lane thanks to Puma. And thanks for the Boris Becker shoes! They’re heavy and solid and leather. And they’re going to get dirty pretty quickly considering how much I end up wearing them.
The pair of shoes I have – the white ones right up top – are made in Vietnam – no made in USA anymore. The red and blue suede Pumas are also made in Vietnam.
Hopefully I’ll get to do some cool stuff with the brand – can currently only conjure photographing cool gigs for them – what an awesome thing that would be. I love what I do and the things it allows me to experience and enjoy.
Thanks for reading and looking at the photos!
( Don’t miss my stand-in, posing – not really – for me so I can set the camera for the ambient light and then he can shoot. )