Behind the Scenes of the PUMA x ALIFE Collection Shoot in Shoreditch

New York meets London.

Fashion
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A collection built around two inspirations — vintage sportswear and New York City’s artistic heritage — can pose some difficulties for the collection’s photographer. With this unique thematic duo in mind, London-based photographer Dean Martindale headed to Shoreditch to shoot ALIFE and PUMA’s latest collaborative offering with a group of creatives, ranging from models to musicians. In addition to talking to the models about their shoot in the video above, we sat down with Dean to hear how he was able to bring ALIFE’s gritty New York aesthetic to London, the similarities between the two cities, and what makes this collection so great for contemporary streetwear.

Given the collaboration’s nostalgic aesthetic, how were you able to match that throwback feel with the shoot location?

I wanted to keep within the ethos of ALIFE and the feel it represents. London has this street urban aesthetic in spades. Shooting around built up estates, I felt this portrayed the collection in a good light as it is influenced by football.

How do you feel London’s energy compares to other cities that you have shot in, for example: New York and Los Angeles?

I feel, although New York and LA are very diverse cities, London has more about it in terms of character as it has more contrasting areas and each area holds its own unique vibe.

You have worked with PUMA on previous projects. How does this most recent shoot compare with the last one, in terms of creative freedom, etc.?

This project was by far the most challenging but yet the most rewarding as I had to strategically plan and direct this shoot from beginning to end. Something I thought was a daunting task but I am happy with the final result. Great teamwork from everyone.

London is well-known for its youth culture and the various influencers that call the city home. How were you able to narrow the selection down to six individuals?

A lot of the influencers I have previously worked with, and they always give me 100%. They each hold a different personality, whether it be the model, the blogger or the music artist which worked well for this campaign.

Being from London, how do you incorporate ALIFE’s NYC aesthetic into UK surroundings?

It’s a familiarization of the city that I’ve become accustomed to by constantly exploring the city that I’m able to find locations that would aesthetically suit the campaign. London and New York hold very similar traits so it was an easy transition.

What cultural similarities do NYC and London share?

Diverse culture which is reflected in the architecture of the city and the people who live in these areas. Whether it be Brooklyn or Brixton, music always plays a huge influence in the in the personality of the city.

Why do you think PUMA’s heritage designs have been such a hit with today’s youth? What is it about throwback designs that is so attractive?

I’m a big believer it’s always good to go back and visit past collections and reissue them as some people missed out the first time. A lot of heritage designs fit in with today’s style. I feel it’s a simple more honest design; it’s timeless.

What’s your favorite item from the collaboration?

Being a huge football fan, all of the football jerseys appealed to me instantly.

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