The Bunyip legend is deeply embedded within the Australian psyche. Clouded in mystery, this ‘Evil Spirit” lurks in muddy swamps and billabongs, creeping out under cover of darkness.
Renowned for possessing a rich baritone, the Bunyip’s campfire crooning is said to be utterly beguiling. Survivors of Bunyip raids are rare but describe them as looking ‘a bit like a walrus crossed with a dingo’. Others say they are six-foot tall lizards with beefy arms, bad breath and strange necklaces made from wombat bones.
Whatever the truth, the original source of the legend is credited to ancient Australian mythology – the antipodean equivalent to the Scottish Loch Ness Monster or North American Bigfoot.
Invoking the spirit of the Bunyip, a rare and remarkable pack of themed apparel and footwear has been designed exclusively for PUMA by Sneaker Freaker.
Founded in 2002 by Melbourne-based writer and designer Simon ‘Woody’ Wood, Sneaker Freaker is the world’s first global sneaker magazine with offices in Russia, Spain and Germany. Now celebrating a decade of total footwear immersion, Sneaker Freaker has a peerless reputation the world over and a natural flair for product design and conceptual thinking.
Although a model in its own right, the ‘Bunyip’ is actually a highly reworked version of the classic PUMA Dallas. Made from premium thick-cut suede and lined with the softest leather in the animal kingdom, the Bunyip sits on a custom crepe rubber sole unit. The heel features a tasteful riff on the original PUMA branding, with an embossed Bunyip eyeball keeping watch. The detailing is subtle. As Wood says, “This might seem strange, but it’s the actual shape of the shoe that I dig the most. Thanks to the craftsmen at PUMA’s factory for their input and finesse – the dimensions and quality is beyond sublime.”
Rounding out the pack is a pair of tees and an unorthodox version of the PUMA ‘Edition’ jacket, with multiple collar zips and neat embellishments such as suede wrist cuffs, satin patches, mesh lining and a foldaway Bunyip hood.
Sneaker Freaker has of course worked with PUMA previously. Their take on the ultra-modern PUMA Blaze of Glory Trinomic runner in 2008 dubbed the ‘Great White’ sold out around the globe within hours. A special edition made from shark leather is now officially impossible to find, reportedly changing hands for thousands of dollars.
A release party hosted by PUMA and Sneaker Freaker is slated in Melbourne this Saturday, 28th of April.
The Bunyip pack will be available in select PUMA stores and sneakers stockists in Asia Pacific starting May.