With the Puma Clyde Wraith Pack arriving in stores this week, the brand helped introduce the updated shoe with a presentation featuring the man who made it popular: New York Knicks legend Walt “Clyde” Frazier.
At a press event at Foot Locker’s NYC33 space on Wednesday, the basketball icon discussed the history of the Clyde and his legacy both on and off the court. Joining Frazier was a panel of fashion and sports influencers — led by sneaker expert Bobbito Garcia — including rap star Fabolous, Roc Nation Apparel executive Emory Jones, GQ style writer Jake Woolf, stylist Rachel Johnson and Knicks sideline reporter Rebecca Haarlow.
These days, athletes make hundreds of millions of dollars partnering with brands. In 1973, that wasn’t the case.
“The first time Puma approached me about endorsing a shoe, they offered me $5,000 and all the shoes that I wanted,” Frazier said.
The Puma Clyde is more than 40 years old, but it has resonated with several generations of style influencers since its inception.
“I saw how the Clyde came from him playing basketball, [but] the streets related to it — that was the shoe on the streets,” Fabolous said. “The guy with the boom box on the corner, he’s got the Pumas on; the guy break-dancing, he’s got the Pumas on.”
Frazier, now a TV analyst for the MSG network’s coverage of the Knicks, is thrilled that even with his playing career being well in the past, he’s still a beloved sports and fashion figure.
“My prayers have been answered that I’m still relevant, and I haven’t played basketball in 35 years,” he said. “I have a restaurant — Clyde’s Wine and Dine — I’m still popular with the Knicks, and now this shoe.”
The Puma Clyde Wraith Pack — featuring a black and a cordovan colorway of the shoe — is available today at NYC33, and will arrive in all Foot Locker doors Friday. The shoes retail for $110.