The Coperni x PUMA 90SQR Is Destined for Goal-Scoring Thrills

Hypebeats sits down with co-founders Sebastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant to discuss their debut sneaker collaboration, its tech-forward properties, and keeping your eyes on the prize.

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Coperni has grown into a technological titan and has become synonymous with futuristic fashion that defies normality. The Parisian ready-to-wear brand had its big moment in 2022 when Bella Hadid stepped onto its Paris Fashion Week runway in nothing but nude-colored g-string underwear. While concealing her breasts with a single hand motion, Coperni mechanics sprayed her body with an instant spray-on fabric that came to life in mid-air, creating a dainty white dress that slightly imitated Alexander McQueen’s Spring 1999 show.

Coperni co-founders Sebastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant are stepping into the collaborative sector by joining PUMA for a football-inspired sneaker that promotes their scientific background and modernist outlook on fashion. The trio pushes boundaries by exploring untapped realms that ignite a new age of football. Brutalist architecture inspires the low-slung design, forming a hybrid 90SQR silhouette that goes from city to pitch in a flash. The sneaker promotes a sock-like fit with angular toe boxes and invisible seams in “White,” “Asphalt,” and “Mad Yellow.” The collaborative 90SQR is just the beginning for Coperni and PUMA, with more ultra-modern kicks set to come throughout the year.

Hypebeast sat down with Coperni co-founders Sebastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant ahead of the launch to discover more about their debut footwear partnership.

Hypebeast: How did the collaboration between Coperni and PUMA come to be?

Coperni: We met PUMA a few years ago, and we both wanted to collaborate because we share a lot of common values: innovation, futurism, technicality, and craftsmanship. As a young designer brand, it’s a dream and a beautiful milestone to design our first pair of sneakers. We started brainstorming on the 90SQR, and then we imagined a wider collaboration together.

What drew the Coperni team to PUMA’s 90SQR sneaker?

We wanted a new silhouette and something very unique. We’ve had the chance to work with the design and innovation team at PUMA. It was a big challenge. It’s made of 99% of squared lines which is very new and very surprising for a pair of sneakers. We then had the idea to mix it with a football boot which brings an athletic feeling to the product. It’s also the best time to launch it in 2024, with the Olympic Games arriving in Paris soon.

Walk me through the design process behind the collaboration.

Sebastien Meyer, the creative director of Coperni, did a lot of iconographic research. His inspiration comes from tech, sci-fi, art, and architecture. He had this idea of a monolith that meets Batman’s car that meets football. We then started working with the PUMA team and especially Heiko Desens, their Creative Director, and also traveled to their headquarters in Germany many times. We made a few prototypes, and Sebastien went to the PUMA factories to create the perfect 90SQR shoe.

How does the PUMA x Coperni 90SQR push the limits of innovation?

The 90SQR is a new shoe from A to Z. We had to develop several molds to achieve the design expectations. It’s made of straight lines that envelop round lines. This was the most challenging part. The sole is made of football cleats but vectorized and shaved for more comfort. 90SQR means 90° square or right angle which is the shape of the shoe toe.

One of the main challenges was the actual making of the shoe. The 90SQR is a sneaker made with sports codes (mesh fabric, electroplated sole, tape) but using a classic shoe-making technique by hand, like a loafer, for instance. We had to challenge the artisans to approach their work differently, and PUMA has shown strong support for this ambitious idea. The result is a mix of futurism and elegance that we sometimes like to call “techno chic.”

Following several viral spectacles, how does the PUMA x Coperni 90SQR continue to expand on the brand’s tech-forward mindset?

It’s such a pleasure to finally have a pair of sneakers that will be worn by the entire Coperni community. We think about it as a uniform. It really translates the tech DNA of the brand.
We collaborated with photographer and artist Paul Kooiker for the campaign. The images showcase the geometric, structural beauty of the shoe juxtaposed with the natural contours of the human body. We’re very excited about the launch and will be celebrating it during Paris Fashion Week!

How does the sneaker merge football and high fashion culture?

The 90SQR is a perfect mix between innovation and football. It recreates the feeling of a football boot but is based on a brand-unique mold. Sebastien was wearing them in New York last month, and he received many compliments from the young kids. We believe it will attract people from both the sports world and the fashion culture.

What can we expect from Coperni and PUMA throughout 2024?

We can expect a lot more for Coperni and PUMA in 2024, including the new shoes featured in our upcoming Pre-Fall 2024 lookbook. We have a wider range of clothes and accessories as well as amazing campaigns coming throughout the year. Stay tuned!

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