My entire career, I had been harboring an idea to create a nameless, brand-less, achromatic trainer. My personal philosophy has always been to give people more than what they pay for, and for this project, I wanted to develop a product that could solely be appreciated for its premium quality. First, my idea needed a home. I decided to partner with one of my favorite retail stores in the world – Dover Street Market. I believed DSM would be a great fit for this project, as they cater to a clientele that cares about uniqueness and quality above all.
Creating a logo-less product is never easy. However, Puma has always been incredibly supportive of my judgment, and in turn, I feel I represent their brand correctly by taking that extra step. As I searched for a silhouette to properly display my idea, I was grasped by the XT-2. The XT-2 is a silhouette newly reintroduced to the marketplace, and holds a very rich history. It is also a silhouette not yet adopted by the masses, nor used for any prior collaboration, despite being so comfortable and so aesthetically pleasing. Once I was able to visually deconstruct the XT-2 of its mesh base and TPU components, I saw what to be an exceptionally clean trainer. That’s when my idea found a home.
The definition of achromatic is, “without color,” so I opted for two executions – Black and White. The goal was to deliver the most premium upper offered on a Puma silhouette to date. I utilized an exquisite high-grade Italian glove leather for the upper, which exhibits an impressive natural grain rarely seen on this form of footwear. We then re-patterned the XT-2’s silhouette in order to replace the typical TPU components, such as the forefoot harnesses and lacelocks, with the same premium Italian leathers. Velvety pig leather was supplemented for the liner and footbeds to provide the most luxurious wear possible, while a quilted detail is located on the inner-tongue for an added design effect. The lush upper and lining combined with the XT-2′s honeycomb Trinomic-technology midsole unit produces an unparalleled comfort which will be immediately noticeable. Custom packaging was also developed for the project, including custom boxes, as well as tonal pig leather dust and lace bags. Two sets of tonal laces also come with each shoe, one flat and one rounded, both finished with metal-plated aglets.
I am extremely proud of the execution of this trainer. Using Italian leathers for the uppers and linings and offering leather dust and lace bags as part of the package, it wasn’t easy to achieve the $180 price point. Yet, I desired to give those who deeply appreciate quality something they could cherish. I did not want them to purchase the shoe due to a retailer’s name, or a brand’s logo. That is why I removed all branding. This collection is for those who are interested in quality alone.
Both pairs of the Ronnie Fieg x Puma XT-2 – “Achromatic” will be available this Saturday, July 26th, at the Kith Pop-Up Shop at 66 Bleecker St., Kith Brooklyn at 233 Flatbush, and online at KithNYC.com. Limited numbers will also be available at all four Dover Street Market locations, DSML E-Shop and DSMNY E-Shop.