PUMA SUEDE 50 x Michael Lau

The godfather of urban vinyl toys, Hong Kong artist Michael Lau, joins PUMA to create a masterpiece to honor the Suede’s 50th anniversary. World-renowned for his collectible designer toy figures and graffiti-style illustrations, Lau takes his bold and brilliant technique to the Suede in a collaboration.

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.

“A lot of the times when I come up with a sneaker design, it’s not going to be for everyone. I rather think of them as products that are for collecting. I guess that because I approach it like artwork,” Lau states.

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 gray included in the Suede’s plush upper all the more intricate. The right shoe features lighter grays, 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.