ART NUMBER: 90681G
MADE IN: YUGOSLAVIA
We previously caught up with DJ, Producer and Vintage shoe collector Ollie Teeba, and here’s his personal review for one of his and others most cherished pairs.
What I’m reviewing today is probably the prized possession of my PUMA Suede/Clyde collection. Not a new release by any means, but a genuine OG vintage model, made in Yugoslavia and straight out of the green box.
There is a story behind this shoe, for me at least… When I was 13-14 years old, all I wanted in the whole world, was a pair of ‘those suede Pumas that at the time I didn’t know the name of. I’m now in my 40’s and it’s been a nearly 30 year obsession, and I have an entire wardrobe of Puma Clyde’s to prove it.
In the UK at that time, the only pairs that could be seen in the flesh would be on the feet of a few B-Boys that I would go to watch breaking in Covent Garden on a Sunday. Nobody who had a pair was completely upfront about what they were called and for a while I thought they were called “PUMA Joints’. No surprise really as this was the era when people still blacked out their record labels. Knowledge was a closely guarded commodity.
This was before the release of the PUMA States, which you could not get England; maybe not even in Europe. They were the most perfect sneaker I had ever seen in my life. They were simple, stylish and streamlined in a number of great colourways.
White leather sneakers took very much second place to a nice coloured suede shoe in my opinion, and they still do to this day. I became completely obsessed and I would look out for them everywhere. I even used to spot them in Hollywood movies, not including Beat Street, which is like a candy store full of Puma. I spotted them on the feet of Eddie Murphy in Trading Places and on Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie.
Anyway, the ‘States’ were released around 1985 following even more exposure in books like Subway Art. When I copped a pair of these, I was almost as satisfied. They’re not quite the same, they don’t have any holes around the formstripe, a slightly thinner and flatter outsole amongst other minor but notable differences. So, close, but not enough to quieten my obsession.
The States soon vanished from the market and even in the late 1980’s were a sought after item. Between this point and the release of the 1990’s Puma Suede I picked up a pair of OG Yugos in Charcoal Grey with a silver plastic formstripe from Duffers of St George. Duffers and a couple of other stores located around Soho had gone out to the US and grabbed as many original PUMA Suede’s and other models that they could. They were selling for £50 a pair, which in 1990 was probably what one would pay for a pair of Jordan’s now. Over the years, I have made it my task in life to cop as many of this original shoe as I can. In my humble opinion, all other variants and models can’t touch this original ‘Made in Yugoslavia’ version.
This particular pair is fresh out the box in ‘Black on Gold’ colourway, are the jewel in the crown of my collection. I paid a pretty price for them, but you just don’t see these anymore, they’re the definitive shape. The curves of this shoe are like a vintage Porsche 911. When you put them on it’s like a time machine took you back to a Zulu nation jam in the park in the formative years of Hip-Hop.
Text: Ollie Teeba