Mostro Q&A with Daniel Taylor and Jacob Alexander
Firstly thanks for taking the time to be involved in this project to address some depth surrounding design processes or context regarding the bring back of the Mostro.
The Mostro is a bit of a design mystery when finding its functional reason, can you give us an insight into the purpose of this shoe - was it targeted directly at lifestyle or is it linked to a sport?
The Mostro is a lifestyle sneaker designed to be worn regularly as a comfortable, easy to wear everyday option. I think it finds it’s functionality in versatility, comfort and ease of use with its iconic velcro strap closure system. There’s definite links to sport within the design language as the design of the Mostro is inspired by the merging of two silhouettes, a sprinting spike from 1968 and a surfing shoe from the 80’s. I see the Mostro as a design anomaly in the way in which it encapsulates a calm collected cool style, simultaneously balancing this simplicity with extremely bold striking design features. Being inspired by two completely obverse sport inspirations makes it hard to define what its functional purpose should be. Since its inception it is one of those silhouettes from the late 90’s, early 2000’s that helped to define Puma as a brand. As a design object it represents a time when Puma made impactful design statements, innovated and challenged the status quo. Something that we as a design team want to stand for and expand on.
The re-release sees enhanced dimples on the sole unit and apart from that I'd say it's pretty much stitch for stitch, was there any temptation to enhance or exaggerate any other features? Or do you believe retros should stay true to original form
When thinking about the identity of the Mostro and what it should be, the first thing that comes to mind is the eye-catching spiky dimple details and the overall proportions of the tooling, the way in which it wraps around and supports the foot blended with its sleek low profile upper. With a sneaker that has such unique design features as the Mostro does, it’s tempting to want to accentuate these extremes as far as you can. However, we also really care for this shoe as an icon of Puma and want to be sure we protect its identity.
I think whether retros should stay true to their original form or not depends on the context and the sneaker in question. Mostly I would say yes, but I think there are some retro’s like the Mostrofor example where it felt natural to blend the OG upper with the UR-Mostro tooling to create a hybrid design of two archive styles that feels inherently Mostro. Being such an icon for the brand I wanted to lean into the design details that make it so iconic and striking without compromising the identity of the OG.
Puma is really having their moment in the archive scene and the Mostro seems to be the starting for something huge to follow, are there any other models you would like to see get its flowers?
I don’t know how I can emphasize enough, that during the era of the late 90s to around the mid 2000s PUMA took a huge risk and created these almost surreal new archetypes in sneaker aesthetic that we categorized under ‘motion’. You need to put this into context too because before the Mostro, the ‘lifestyle’ category of sneakers designed purely for style was not really a thing.
So, in answer to your question It’s hard to say what we will bring next as we are still in the creation and curation phase. A few examples of what we are talking about here are the Beisser, Kugelblitz, Talon, Mikoshi, Uke, Puma x Mihara, Puma x JilSander. This should give you a feel why PUMA is hugely influential in the development of sports fashion. What comes next for us will likely live in this space, specifically the ‘low profile’ sneaker which is a category of product PUMA innovated with the Mostro and the Speedcat.
Following on from my previous question, it's all fun talking about seeing a rerelease of some of the more bizarre pumas out there, but is there a model you think could actually work in a business sense?
I don’t think I am alone in saying this, but trends right now are either heavily oversaturated or so fleeting that it’s impossible to chase. We found a window of opportunity with the Mostrobecause we knew it was time to move away from oversized and OTT footwear and offer people polar opposites. Our approach here is more about creating a totally new space for us, so for future releases we establish an aesthetic that only PUMA can offer.
The Mostro lent its traits to later models with updated modifications, is there an internal appetite to push any of these into production?
Aesthetically we consider the Mostro its own design language and there are a lot of other variants of the like the Neo Aqua Sock, UR Mostro and the RPT2. The appetite is there, but it’s also a reality that if we flood the market so soon then it could dilute the message. The Mostro OG is so iconic it needs the space to flourish and feed into peoples emotions.