PUMA Suede


As the PUMA Suede celebrates its 45th Anniversary this year, we’ve seen some special releases to mark the occasion. Long over the years there have been numerous editions, retro’s and re-makes, but they all originate from the 1968 model that came out of PUMA’s Yugoslavian factory. What we have here is one of those very early examples and the Holy Grail amongst true PUMA connoisseurs.

There are numerous reasons why ‘Made in Yugoslavia’ PUMA Suedes are now so sought after, but at the time they were released it would’ve been impossible to have known the lengths collectors would go to in order to own a pair. So to have a pair such as these in such good condition is a rare sight. Unlike different shoes from other brands of a similar style, these are still fully wearable and will remain so for years to come, which goes to highlight the quality of their materials and manufacturing.

During the time of the 1970s that PUMA were producing Suedes, they had slight differences that only those with a discerning eye will notice. These feature ‘Made in Yugoslavia’ printed on the inner-sole and a tongue label with just the PUMA logo. Other articles featured a plain inner-sole, with ‘Made in Yugoslavia’ underneath the logo as part of the tongue label.

The red and black colourway is one that’s done well for PUMA over the years. Recently they were replicated as part of the ‘Takumi’ Made in Japan Suedes. As well as the colourway, they also copied the slim form and short toe-box section of the Yugo’s. A favourite detail of them – which you don’t see on Suedes produced after this period – is their flat and chunky sole.

A shoe that at its inception was revered for its style as well as its form, it transcended numerous subdivisions of cultures and societies, and doesn’t seem to be letting up even forty five years later. It was this original silhouette which the now infamous Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier adapted for his own signature shoe; a modern day model which has gone on to be just as famous as the savory Suede original.

written by Professor B

photography by errol

shoes contributed by Ollie Teeba