PUMA x BlackRainbow R698 and R698 LTWT
I could not help but notice the accelerated surge of Puma trainers on the streets of London in recent months. Rivalling the likes of Nike, Vans, New Balance and Adidas seemed unlikely in the past, but the current design team at PUMA are determined to change this.
The collaboration between the German sportswear specialists and Staple Design to create the Staple x PUMA Suede ‘Pigeon’ trainers portrays the new direction the brand are aiming for.
This latest collaboration sees PUMA partner with multi-media street empire BlackRainbow. The appealing project, PUMA x BlackRainbow R698, has been long in the making and is based on PUMA’s iconic running silhouettes: the R698 and R698 LTWT.
Parisian based BLACKRAINBOW was founded in 2006 by dynamic duo, Jay Smith and Greg Hervieux. Today the BLACKRAINBOW empire is comprised of the BKRW shop, magazine, website, creative agency and label; they are a company based on vision, with a DNA of street culture, art, fashion and sports.
Hervieux explains: “We take part in street culture and in the digital arena. With this project we wanted to take earth-like qualities such as the camo-inspired colourway and add digital details like the printed 3M to the future shoe.”
“These shoes are a message to say that even if you are changing and evolving, you have to remember where you came from,” states Smith. “Sneakers are a part of street culture and its just pure fun and we are happy to have been part of this project. Two shoes, two different jobs, yet both styles are unique and strong coming from the same roots.”
A shoe that was originally introduced in the 1990s, the R698 hit the ground running (excuse the pun) and built its credibility through PUMA’s Trinomic technology. Inspired by all things ‘war’ the new R698 OG features a mixed nubuck and mesh upper in Cypress Green and Heritage Tan colours. A gum outsole is layered on to the off-white outsole, with the PUMA Trinomic gel cushioning unit coming in translucent blue. Dual branded logos can be seen on the heel, whilst the BlackRainbow button logo can also be found on the tongue and blue insole.
The Future R698 Lite is a hybrid of the R698 OG model and features a FAAS sole unit, making for an ultra-lightweight shoe. It comes in a Pil Green, Navajo Blue and Raidiance coloured upper that is created from a combination of ripstop and microfiber materials. Navajo Blue accents finish off the silhouette, coming in the form of plastic lace eyelets, as well as branding to the heel and outsole. Again, the BlackRainbow branding can be seen on the tongue and insole.
The ‘earth-like’ qualities mentioned by Hervieux are ever present in the colour ways available. A range of camouflage, earth and forest tone materials are available in both styles.
The Puma R698 + R698 LTWT x BlackRainbow trainers are available to buy now at Hanon, End and Foot Patrol.