Why Puma Stayed Close to Home for Its Latest Designer Collaboration

Puma Tomas Maier
Puma x Tomas Maier's Roma 1968 sneakers
Courtesy of Puma

Puma’s new sneaker collaboration is a family affair, and all we can say is: What took you so long?

This week, the athletic brand unveiled a limited-edition shoe created in partnership with Tomas Maier, the designer behind Bottega Veneta and the eponymous Tomas Maier label — both of which are owned by Puma’s parent, Kering.

Adam Petrick, global director of brand and marketing at Puma, confided in FN how the project came together:

We have often over the years said, ‘Maybe we should start reaching out to some others in our group to see whether they’d be interested in something like this.’ But we haven’t pressed it that hard and then Tomas expressed an interest from his personal side and said, ‘I’d love to do it.’ We started talking about it and at the end of the day, we weren’t really ready to do something with Bottega, but doing something with his own brand — [which is] a little bit more accessible, a bit more of the right kind of vibe to cross over with us — it made a lot of sense. We figured something out and selected a model and he made his magic happen.

Maier opted to put his stamp (quite literally) on Puma’s Roma 1968 style, a low-profile sneaker that was originally created to honor the 1968 Azzurri European Championship winner: Italy.

His special version (of which there are only 200 pairs) features his brand’s signature palm trees, de-bossed into the shoe’s leather upper. Other special elements include suede details, a classic gum sole and Maier’s name on the heel tab and the foot liner.

Puma Tomas Maier Puma x Tomas Maier’s Roma 1968 sneakers Courtesy of Puma
Puma Tomas Maier Puma x Tomas Maier’s Roma 1968 sneakers Courtesy of Puma

According to Petrick, the Roma is one of the stalwarts of the Puma stable, with its clean, understated look. “For Tomas, that appealed to his aesthetic — it meshed nicely with his design and how his team puts together product,” said the Puma exec. “It allowed for him to do some very nice things with details, whether it’s the way the eyelet stay is cut or the de-boss is done. It’s a cool shoe to look at because if you see it coming down the street, you’d say it’s just a typical classic shoe, but when you get up close, you start to see all these details emerge.

Puma has certainly been upping the ante with its collaborations. See: Rihanna’s latest blockbuster Fenty x Puma runway show in New York earlier this week and its hip streetwear collection with The Weeknd.

Said Petrick, “We are trying very hard to push limits of design when it comes to more modern styles and much more unique, technologically focused products. That’s what we’re probably focused on marketing more at this stage. But the classics are always the classics and we do love our classics, like the Roma.

The Puma x Tomas Maier Roma 1968 sneaker will be available starting Sept. 16 for $150. It can be found in Tomas Maier stores and on its website, as well as at select retail stores.

Puma Tomas Maier Puma x Tomas Maier’s Roma 1968 sneakers Courtesy of Puma