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Puma x UNDFTD

Eddie Cruz, owner of the cult sports label, speaks to us about the new limited edition Puma Clyde trainer and what it means to him today

Puma continue their collaboration this season with legendary sports label Undefeated, to launch the latest piece in their UNDFTD Collection. Centred around one of Puma’s most iconic and celebrated styles, The Puma Clyde (in homage to the New York Knicks' “Walt” Clyde Frazier) - the new instalment to the collaborative line was launched in Las Vegas last month, before hitting London's Dover Street Market this April. The limited edition trainer will be available in only 150 pairs in the world, inspired by Undefeated's Owner and Director Eddie Cruz.

Dazed Digital: Out of all the influential sports brands, why do you think Puma works so well with Undefeated?
Eddie Cruz:
Both brands recognize the importance of sports as it ties back to fashion, art and music culture. We both have a similar approach.

DD: Has there been a specific link between the individual pieces made for the ongoing collaborations since 2009? And if so, how do they complement each other?

Eddie Cruz: I would say no, because this collection is only based on the Puma Clyde. The goal for Undefeated is to shed a little bit of the Clyde’s history by bringing it into a younger very conscious market. Most kids today outside of NYC do not know who and what Walt “Clyde” Frazier represents. However, once they learn about who he is, they will see that they have a lot in common with him from an athletic and style stand point. Walt Frazier was fresh both on and off the court. Just like everybody reading this interview.

DD: As Undefeated's ethos is all about victory and success, what do you consider was your last personal victory?
Eddie Cruz: In 2009, I was diagnosed with a brain tumour. For 6 days until surgery, my biggest fear besides brain damage, was the possibility of have having Brain Cancer. Coming from a spiritual standpoint, I stayed positive throughout the whole process. After surgery, I lost the ability to use my left leg 100%. Through months of physical therapy and the power of positive thinking and never giving up, I now box, play basketball and do whatever the hell I want. For me, this was my biggest personal victory and I’m happy to share it with you in hopes to inspire others.

DD: What was the most important sports moment to you last or this year?

Eddie Cruz: Although I’m from NYC, being in LA since 1993, I’ve adopted the Lakers as my favourite NBA team. Beating the Boston Celtics for the championship in 2010 was most satisfying. I really admire what Phil Jackson brings to the Lakers. In fact, I live by one of his quotes. “ Don’t expect anything, and you will not be disappointed”

DD: What's the significance of the Clyde for you personally?

Eddie Cruz: I’m from NYC. Not only was the Clyde the sneaker of choice for all ‘B-Boy’s,” but Walt Frazier himself was a super star. Although I was a bit young, I remember my big brother and all his boys idolizing him on the court and doing the best that could to mimic his style off the court.

DD: What are you most excited about next for the label?

Eddie Cruz: Undefeated wants to grow. Our clothing brand is getting bigger and we’re about to open up a new shop in San Francisco. Home of the World Champion Giants....