The Merlion Inspires

Puma Blaze of GloryWhile Adidas Yeezy Boost 350’s second drop in black last week was making headlines and yielded, till now, crazy behaviour on the part of sneakerheads, a pair of shoes slipped frenzy-free into the market this weekend. The Puma X Limited Edt Blaze of Glory appeared as quietly as an angel at the retailer’s stores in 313@Sommerset and The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. The lack of buzz is remarkable considering that this is, in essence, a collaboration to mark SG50. Clearly, the golden jubilee of a nation isn’t big enough to drown the noise coming from a hip-hop-star-turned-shoe-designer. Kanye West sure knows how to steal a country’s thunder!

From an aesthetic point of view, there’s much to laud about Blaze of Glory. The shoe is inspired by, of all the visible things on our island, the Merlion. Yet, on a whole, it looks more futuristic than retro: an apt tribute to a forward-looking nation? There’s no denying the appeal of the silver, pony hair-covered toe box that purports to represent a lion’s mane or the ‘fish scales’ of the sock-like upper, made out of a reflective 3M fabric to symbolise a fish’s body. These sit atop an on-trend speckled rubber outsole. The shoe laces of candy-cane-like twists of red and white cords are, perhaps, the most obvious SG50 element since they colour-correspond to our national flag. They are also reminiscent of those brown paper bag handles once widely used, but now mostly seen during Moon Cake Festival at the original Tai Chong Kok bakery in Sago Street.

You’d think a shoe that references a kitschy icon would be a product of brash tastelessness. Blaze of Glory is a composite of details that manages to circumvent the obvious for something not quite outré, but definitely on the side of memorable fashion. Kudos to Puma for not going the Adidas way.

Puma X Limited Edt Blaze of Glory “SG50” drops in a limited run of 215 pairs. Each set comes with a specially-designed box, a T-shirt, and a fridge magnet. It is available for SGD250 at Limited Edt Vault, 313@Sommerset and Limited Edt Chamber, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. Photo: Puma/Limited EDT