Anxiety, depression identity and overall mental health are some of the subjects which often fit in a bracket of taboos. We have seen Bollywood star Deepika Padukone speak publicly about her struggle with depression in the past. Conversations can shape up in a number of ways and design certainly becomes a great medium; case in point? The new Masaba X Puma collaboration that addresses these strong messages all over again, albeit in a new way.
Brand Masaba Gupta has proved that runways are a passé, it’s significant to capture the zeitgeist to remain relevant. Looking at Gupta’s trajectory of collaborations with brands like Amrapali, Satya Paul and more recently Nykaa, it comes to prove that as a creator her understanding of fashion rests on an interdisciplinary platform.
Puma, the international athletic and casual wear brand just unveiled a capsule line with Masaba Gupta, revamping Cali, one of the brand’s iconic silhouettes. Owing to the minimalistic and understated style of the sneaker, Gupta’s striking and eclectic prints sit perfectly on every Cali prototype as a canvass. Strong messages pertaining to Anti-anxiety and identity sit at the heart of the collection. For the first silhouette Gupta has used colourful laces and her signature polka dots to exemplify her messages; each detail has been carefully created to strongly embody the theme of anxiety.
With the second silhouette, Gupta reflects on the tricky issue of identity and addresses the same with the usage of ‘Decode yourself’ slogan on the shoe. The design represents a patchwork of various labels put on people, either self-inflicted or society created.
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Talking about her new sneaker drop Masaba said, “This is my first ever sneaker collaboration, and I am thrilled to have partnered with PUMA for this project. They wanted me to be true to my personal style, and together we have created a unique and bold capsule of sneakers, which I feel every girl is going love. I feel today’s generation wants to move and grow at the speed of light without even pausing for a second to take a better look at their mental health. Anxiety almost seems like a curse on this generation and therefore the anti-anxiety shoe just sheds light on this issue. Identity is another issue that needs to be addressed, I believe a lot of our validation comes from various external factors and amidst that the generation has forgotten its true identity. The Identity shoe is a reminder for this generation that the key to finding yourself lies in knowing where we are, what work we do and always remembering the purpose. Anxiety is a trap; it’s not a trend to be followed. It’s not supposed to be cool, it’s meant to be fixed! “
Going further, Gupta has used locks on the shoe signaling the barriers and boundaries created by society; and the key representing the opening of locks and breaking free. Once again to add a punch of fun, Gupta has looped her signature chevron print.