This year PUMA are celebrating the 40th birthday of the classic T7 jacket by launching the PUMA Creative Factory ‘Built for One” T7 Track Jacket activation where PUMA T7 ambassadors who were selected from around the region came to recreate their own T7 jacket. PUMA also invited local fashion designers Zayan Ghandour, Emperor 1688, Tahir Sultan, Essa, Michael Cinco, Ezra, Furne One, Hatem Alakeel (TOBY) and Alanoud Badr to create their own one-of-a kind interpretations of the T7 Jackets.
Each designer added their own style and influence to which resulted in an eccentric showcase of the T7 jackets at the PUMA Creative Factory ‘Built for One” T7 Track Jacket event and at Middle East Sneaker Summit SOLE DXB event held in Mojo Gallery, Al Serkal.
“I was excited when PUMA invited me to design a PUMA Creative Factory "Built For One" T7 track jacket in celebration of the classic piece's 40th birthday. I remember the era when the Beastie Boys were wearing the jackets and I really like the retro style, which is why I kept my T7 jacket simple with an edge by adding a signature Toby fold at the front.”
Plaza Magazine Middle East met with few designers for a quick talk on their creation in which they were challenged in keeping the same feel of PUMA by implementing their own signature touch.
When we met Essa:
1. What material did you use can you talk us through the process of the design?
I used a silk mix, which is a very athletic fabric, and for the detail I used a very delicate black lace and I put a tailcoat at the back of the jacket to give it an aerodynamic feel.
When I think of PUMA, I firstly think of the athletic and sports wear but this time I also thought of the puma cat. I pictured the puma cat jumping just like the PUMA logo. I wanted to capture the image of the puma in my T7 jacket so I used the neon pink, which is a very Essa signature color with black symbolizing the paws of the puma.
2. What did you think of the PUMA T7 jacket in its original form?
I think the original jacket is so iconic in its shape, which is supported by who the jacket has been associated with over the past 40 years, but as a designer, I found the fabric itself very hard to work with, which is why I moved away from the original fabric and worked with materials that I am more familiar with.
3. Have you ever been interested in designing sports wear?
No, I can’t say that I have ever thought about going into sports wear however when PUMA approached me I jumped at the chance. I was excited to be involved with celebrating the 40th Birthday of the PUMA T7 Track jacket.
4. Tell me about who influences and inspires you and how do you incorporate them into your designs?
Inspiration is something that comes to you and when it does you feel in the mood for creating. Currently my mood is all about technically advanced fabrics so I’m in the mood to study futuristic fashions. I’ve had a vintage focus for so long that now I want to juxtapose the two, by using futuristic fabrics with classic cuts.
5. PUMA are celebrating their 40th birthday with the T7 jacket, where do you see your design company reaches 40?
I would like to hope that my company will be successfully run by my children.
6. What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Make the best of the fact that you’re not good looking but you have incredible style.
7. What other designers would you like to collaborate with?
The house of Versace.
When we met Tahir Sultan:
1. Tell us about the T7 Track Jacket you designed for Puma. Where did your concept come from?
I wanted to create a Synergy Between the PUMA Signature, which is the Cat, and an armor, which reflects protection. I was looking more at a tailored structure a sort of a constructive concept. Projecting the protection of athletes who is growing his talent and building it into becoming a total victory.
2. What Kind of Material have you used in making Tahir Sultan’s T7 Track Jacket?
It’s a new age fabric that we ordered from Italy, it is waterproof as well as it is all netted from the inside. It is very athletic fabric absorbs sweat and holds the body tight which fits perfectly into sports wear creations.
3. Would you consider designing a whole range of Sports wear.
Oh! yes of course, In fact I was thinking of approaching puma and design Some Sports Shoes with a sort of an structure such as a futuristic sort of armor. I would love to work on whole range for a PUMA collection.
4. So tell me about your own Collection for fall winter 2012 – 2013
Once again the structured shapes are all part of my collection. Constructive Jackets and Items that can be worn in different ways. However the best way to describe my collection is by imagining a future I relation to the present in addition I took the idea of Couture and switched it into Pret a Porter. I am striving to set up a proper infrastructure iny creations.
5. Where do you see yourself in a Couple of years?
I am looking at a presence in the London and Paris markets in the next year and working on a Global launch in the future.
6. Do you think Dubai is the route for Global Success?
It is defiantly ta Departure point! There is a lot of Fashion and Brand Awareness in Dubai. People in Dubai get the time dress well and look good, I do believe it is the right platform to grow and get in touch with the people who love to be dressed up and go out. I do believe it is the best place in the Middle East.
7. Which Brand do you hope to collaborate with in the coming future?
Porsche! It would be a dram come true.
Once the T7 workshop was over and the sun have set, the After Hours Athletes came out to play! PUMA ambassadors Mike Daniels and Rita R'ink jumped on the decks to get the party started with local designers Taher Sultan, Babak Golkar and Hatem Alakeel in attendance.
The PUMA T7 after party saw VIP guests meeting the designers and talking about their inspirations and ideas behind their ' T7 jackets in a private room .
Guest were also surprised to see for the first time the limited editions of PUMA sneakers showcased at the private party including Deadmau5, UNDFTD, Toy Toy, Black Label.
The Puma T7 Track Jacket was born in 1968 and has achieved legendary statutes by being worn by famous athletes, rock stars, b-boys and artists including football legend Pele and Beastie Boys.
The Jacket is environmentally responsible as it is made of 100 % recycled polyester; building on PUMA’s mission to become the most desirable and sustainable sport lifestyle company.