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There is no greater home to innovation than New York City.
Once known as the stronghold for commercial manufacturing and financial valor, New York City has become a dominant force in an international creative economy, relying heavily on the original artistry and ideas of human property.
The city brims with so much talent and original product, it is quite difficult to monitor and record it all, particularly in fashion, music and art. But, PUMA and Newco Studio Practice, together with visual arts titan and ALIFE founder Rob Christofaro are honoring NYC’s creative elite in a new book, Who’s Who: New York Local Edition.
Out now, the book commemorates PUMA’s 75th year in business with a careful curation of 75 profiles of NYC’s most prolific icons in fashion, music and art. It highlights new giants like Lizzo and fashion designer Daniel “Dapper Dan” Day as well as lesser-known innovators such as Black in Fashion Council founder Sandrine Charles and legends Tommy Jewels of the Wu-Tang Clan, as well as former New York Knicks player Walter “Clyde” Frazier.
Frazier receives a special tribute in the book, a befitting expression of gratitude for the two-time NBA champion and seven-time All-Star, who made his presence known on and off the court. All honorees are photographed wearing PUMA’s “Clyde” sneaker, which the company specifically customized for him, the first shoe endorsement deal of its kind in basketball history.
In 1971, Frazier, whose sense of fashion and style was as smooth as his game, asked PUMA to design a low-style shoe he could not only play in, he wanted it in a new colorway for every single game! Allegedly, almost 400 color combinations were created, and is the reason why the company chose to make the shoe out of suede leather; it made the shoe easier to dye.
With his name, “Clyde,” emblazoned across the shoe, for that reason, the PUMA “Crack” (its original name) was then called “Clyde”.
This year mark’s the sneaker’s 50th anniversary.
Unlike a conventional art book, Who’s Who is made up of a three-ring binder design, sheathed in a taxi-cab yellow shoebox, embossed like a late-edition newspaper. It’s a manner in keeping with the hallmark of New York City, a place to which Christofaro dedicates his heart and soul. A Brooklyn native and multimedia visual artist, he is best known for establishing New York City as a street culture capital of the world in the late 1990s, along with an extensive career in graffiti, dating back to the late 80s.
“I’ve acted as a curator within New York’s creative community for over twenty years. We started ALIFE as an incubator for untapped talent in downtown NYC – but quickly evolved into a platform for creatives around the world,” Chistofaro said in a statement published by NYLON.com. “This book serves as a guide to contemporary talent, while honoring that same tenacious spirit we embodied twenty years ago.”
Who’s Who: New York Local Edition is available in limited quantities. Contact Newco Studio Practice for more information.