You've probably never seen these before! This is a pair of PUMA Clydes from 2003, created in collaboration with infamous street artist Banksy, which commemorated his first major exhibition: Turf War.
Preserved since time immemorial – early 2000s obtained their pair from a friend who was involved with the PUMA-sponsored exhibition.
The year 2003 was particularly prominent the Clyde, with the silhouette returning in primo spec.
As such, the buttery brown and beige suede combo – known here as ‘Coffee/Sesame’ – is befitting of a collaboration of this caliber.
‘TURF WAR’ embroidery on the heels is a custom touch, and so is the ‘BANKSY’ text sewn on the inside of the counters. Evidenced by the promo tags and alternate box label, it’s safe to say these were never sold at retail and only given away to a handful of people at the time.
Turf War was Banksy’s first major exhibition. It was held at a secret warehouse location, somewhere on Kingsland Road in London’s East End. The edgy presentation controversially included painted live cows featuring the artist’s distinct stencil style. Jamie Oliver was among the attendees.
Banksy collecting and sneaker freakery, together at last.
These were created for the 2003 Turf War exhibition in collaboration with sponsors Puma. I believe 15-20 pairs were made at the time and never went on sale.
Banksy chose the colour way; the official description is ‘coffee/sesame’. The trainers bear Banksy’s tag in gold on the inside above the sole and the legend ‘Turf War’ on the exterior in gold.
Puma relaunched its signature Clyde silhouette from 1970 in the early 2000s. The Clyde was the first sneaker worn in a sponsored NBA athlete deal, by Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier. He had rejected their original shoe and helped redesign Puma’s Suede design to be lighter and more flexible but with additional padding.