Brooklyn’s never been afraid to rock a pair of track pants and high-tops. (Thank you, Beastie Boys.) And neither has native New Yorker and artist Sophia Chang, who often sees her projects through a sweaty, athletic lens.
In her latest collaboration with Puma, debuting today, the creative designer salutes both modern and classic Brooklyn with a collection of lifestyle athletic apparel and footwear for fall that features urban graphics.
“Everyone’s buzzing about Brooklyn,” the 25-year-old says. “It’s taking the shine away from Manhattan, but you can still see the local Brooklyn culture here.”
That cool local culture and landscape is what you’ll find printed on men’s and women’s sporty shirts and varsity jackets—think skylines with industrial rooftops, water towers, and bodegas to tops that feature cursive Brooklyn (and Brooklynite) logos.
And you can’t forget out the shoes, of course. Chang has previously collaborated with Puma on sneakers previously, and for this collection, she went for pink low-tops with gradient soles (pictured above) “for the hipster trendy girl with ombre hair” and a more dramatic Trinomic Disc Wedge (pictured below).
“The Trinomic is not a gym shoe, but it’s made with sportswear material,” Chang says. “I designed it with my favorite fitness fashion details: it’s reflective, suede, has neoprene, and mesh.” And it’ll give you the same lift as your stilettos.
Funny enough, Chang, a lifelong Queens resident (gasp!), worked at Puma as a retail salesperson during college at Parsons The New School for Design in Manhattan. A self-proclaimed “creative Swiss-Army knife,” she went on to illustrate, design, and consult for a number of big-name brands like Nike, the NBA, and Urban Outfitters.
“Sophia is so creative that Puma wanted to get involved with her from the get go,” says Tara McRae, senior vice president of marketing at Puma. “We love her connection to New York, a city and market that is so important for our brand and industry, so we are thrilled to collaborate with someone who brought that youthful, creative, progressive New York angle to the table.”
The collection has already launched internationally outside of the U.S., to much success.
“The Trinomic is going on eBay for three times the retail price,” Chang reflects. “For a 25-year-old creative designer, it’s a truly humbling experience.” —Jamie McKillop