Dim sum has its origins in the old roadside establishments and tea houses of Canton where they were first served to workers and travelers as mid-afternoon accompaniments to tea. Over time, these snacks became the main focus of the meal and the act of sitting down for dim sum has become a weekly ritual for many Chinese families across the world today. Translated to mean “touch the heart,” dim sum is usually served on steam table trolleys and in bamboo steamer baskets and is often comprised of small plates of Chinese dumplings, steamed buns and pastries.
When we were presented with the opportunity to work with PUMA on a potential sneaker collaboration, it was the “heart” of Hong Kong that we sought to represent, along with a trending food culture that has made rock stars of high-profile chefs. With dim sum’s role at the core of the city’s culinary culture and the importance of food in local lifestyles, it was only fitting that we set about trying to apply these inspirations to footwear. To create our unique takes on classic PUMA silhouettes we looked to two of the most widely-known and cherished elements of dim sum: har gao and siu mai.
Har gao — a translucent-skinned shrimp dumpling — is known for being one of the most difficult of dumplings to execute properly. The skin should be chewy and supple without being tough while perfectly cooked shrimp is essential. We sought a similar balance in our approach to the PUMA Blaze of Glory LTWT — we wanted to keep the essence of the classic sneaker while updating its silhouette for our theme and bringing the shoe into 2013. This updated version features a midsole that is lighter in weight and more flexible than the original Blaze of Glory, while its minimalistic uppers feature a unique shrimp camouflage pattern designed by PUMA’s own Jon Tang. In keeping with the har gao inspirations, we then wrapped the upper’s panels in a translucent material reminiscent of the dumpling’s sheer skin. A neoprene bootie for fit and comfort completes the HYPEBEAST x PUMA Blaze of Glory – an update we feel marries a lightweight silhouette with contemporary refinements and a unique, culinary-inspired flavor.
Siu mai often goes hand in hand with har gao at a typical meal of dim sum. Open-topped steamed pork dumplings made with a yellow-hued wrapper, siu mai usually comes with a sprinkling of orange fish roe and is often ordered together or in sequence with har gao. As the complement to our iteration of the Blaze of Glory LTWT, we outfitted the Blaze of Glory OG with luxurious yellow leather and suede uppers – its tonal uppers staying true to a minimal aesthetic and referencing the yellow wrappers of siu mai. Meanwhile, its substantial silhouette mirrors the more robust flavors of the pork dumplings, highlighted by a cushioned CELL midsole in white and rounded out by neoprene booties for fit and comfort.
The HYPEBEAST x PUMA “The Dim Sum Project” Blaze of Glory OG & LTWT pack will release on Wednesday, May 8 at 12 p.m. EST through our HYPEBEAST Store with a retail price of $155 USD each, or both pairs for $300 USD. Each pair comes with a custom dustbag and a specially created pair of commemorative chopsticks. An APAC-region release will take place on Friday, May 10 and globally through select doors on Friday, May 17.
APAC Retailers: JUICE HK (May 9), PUMA Harbour City, Loaded, Limited Edt, Cross Over, NPC, Unik, D2R, Unity, JUICE Taipei and Sole Academy
Global Retailers: Back Door (Italy), End (UK), Foot Patrol (UK), hanon (UK), sneakersnstuff (Sweden), Solebox (Germany), The Good Will Out (Germany), BKRW (Paris), colette (Paris), Epitome (USA), Nice Kicks (USA), UBIQ (USA), Sneaker Politics (USA), Conveyor (USA), Livestock (Canada) and OTH (Canada).