July 31, 2015

“East London’s not a bomb site, it is a treasure chest.”

That opening line from The Wombat’s 2011 single “Techno Fan has historical references of how most of East London was destroyed during the Second World War. Although some parts of the area are still poverty-ridden (some of the worst in Britain), you’ll still be able to find many gems in this “treasure chest”. Shoreditch, an inner city district of the East End that was once a predominantly working class area, became a fashionable part of London in the late 90s. The area, often conflated with Hoxton, became gentrified over the past 20 years thanks to rises in land and property prices. Old industrial buildings were transformed into offices and flats, and a whole bunch of clubs and pubs, alongside art galleries, bars and restaurants – all comparable to those on the West End – started popping up.

It’s no wonder PUMA decided to turn to an East London based print and fashion house for their new AW15 collaboration. SWASH London, comprising of Sarah Swash and Toshio Yamanaka, are known for their hand-drawn and painted artworks, and their digital prints. They were awarded the Hyeres prize in 2004 and have become the go-to people for bold, strange and beautiful aesthetic.

Sarah and Toshio both translate their signature touches onto classic silhouettes like The Blaze of Glory and women’s Haast Disc. Bright colours are a staple in this collection, coupled with intricate patterns that embody the brand’s design ethos on the uppers, vamps, tongues, mid-sole, heel… well, pretty much the entire shoe.

PUMA x Swash London Pack, $270 each. Avail at Limited Edt and Leftfoot stores from mid-August.