PUMA has roared head first into 2021 with a string of new silhouettes proving that this brand doesn’t just rest on the strength of its past but is primed to perform in the future. Hot on the heels of the Wild-Rider is another forward-facing silhouette and this time it is taking a very 2021 vision of the future as the main inspiration point for its design. The OP-1 PWRFrame even sounds like it just came out of a Cyberdyne Systems Terminator factory. But don’t be fooled by its intimidating name, the OP-1 PWRFrame is sleek in design and definitely comes from the pages of a utopian future novel over a dystopian one.
The Magnum opus of the OP-1 PWRFrame is the sneaker’s namesake, PWRFrame technology, a new cushioning, and support system upon which the sneaker is built. This future-facing progressive piece of tech that’s visible as it oozes out from the back of the sole wouldn’t look out of place roaming the streets of Neo-Tokyo.
Both Bladerunner and Akira (based in Neo-Tokyo) were set in 2019 so envision versions of the future very much grounded in the time in which both works of art were made. These are two of the pinnacle masterpieces of the cyber-punk movement in literature, art, and fashion. Where does the OP-1 PWRFrame fit into all this you may be asking yourself? Well, it’s a sneaker that much like these sci-fi visionaries before it, imagines the future through the lens of the present, putting you in the sneakers of tomorrow, today.
PWRFrame Technology doesn’t go all-in for bold statements and ‘futuristic’ gimmicks though. What makes it very now is its simplistic approach, inspired by architectural structures that emphasize its pure functionality. As the name hints, the tech provides a frame or structure between specific parts of the sneaker that require the most stability (i.e. the heel and arch) giving your foot a feeling of all-around comfort and support.
The upper experiments with different technical processes too including bonding and embroidery. These combine for a very clean minimal upper, whilst the visible elements of the PWRFrame tech pop in translucent neon TPU equipping you to skip from building to building like a joyful version of Neo in the Matrix.
Extending this science-fashion meets cyber-punk contemporary vision of the future, experimental digital and visual artist Gabriel Boyer shot the OP-1 PWRFrame for PUMA. His warped, parallel universe style of photography astrally and visually projects the sneaker into a realm that bridges today and tomorrow.