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Whether it’s a form of escapism from today’s political tensions, which can leave us feeling bitter and powerless, or simply because of the cyclical nature of trends, we are looking to the past to create for the future more than ever. With the relaunch of the PUMA RS-0 series—a three-model range that distills the essence of some of the brand’s most iconic ‘80s designs into new iterations—PUMA demonstrates how reinventing and recontextualizing designs from the past can help innovate for the future.
To reminisce and reflect on the place of the past in modern society, we caught up with the London-based creative collective SLOCAL after they tried and tested PUMA’s RS-0 PLAY on the streets and in the arcades of their home city.
“There are definitely influences from my youth subconsciously present in my work,” explains SLOCAL member Ali Arrowsmith. “You learn from past experiences and this will help you in the future.”
Sweet Dreams By @Ogaslocal Still Doing The Rounds. New Music And Moves From The Team Coming Soon. 📈📈
SLOCAL is Chennessy, Blacks, Nate, Durell, and Ali. They founded the collective as a “self-sufficient house that could accommodate different aspects of creativity.” Spanning the worlds of music, production, party-throwing, photography, and merch, they bring together a diverse range of skills that stand for, “a constant pursuit of progress, and dedication to the cause via hard graft and ingenuity.”
Despite being born in the digital age, they, like PUMA, recognize that there is still a place for “old tech” in modern society. “Ali still shoots on film and avoids the digital format at all costs,” explain the SLOCAL crew. “We’re also noticing a big increase in analog and retro themes in the creative industries around us.”
The RS-0 PLAY taps into our yearning for the past with its retro-futuristic aesthetic inspired by video and arcade games of the ‘80s. Despite its rapid evolution over the last 40 years, gaming remains entrenched in our society and even for those who game less as adults, it often still evokes fond memories of being a kid. Reflecting on his childhood in the ‘90s, Arrowsmith recalls, “I remember getting a Gameboy Color and being obsessed with Metal Gear Solid, Pokemon, and Tetris. Mario Kart and Pro Evo were definitely a thing too!”
Prior to the internet, who you hung out with was generally limited to those living in the neighborhood, and places like the mall and arcades became the hangout spots of choice. The environments that surround us during those formative years play a significant role in later life. “We’re very humble and down to earth, both collectively and as individuals, and we feel this is a result of our upbringings and the environments that have surrounded us growing up,” explain SLOCAL. “Our local spirit is embedded within us, so we translate this simply by just staying true to ourselves no matter where we go.”
When asked how to keep the playful spirit alive as we grow older, Arrowsmith responded, “create, create, create. Read, laugh. Make some mistakes, it’s a game of life.”
Check out all four RS-0 PLAY colorways, here, and keep up with SLOCAL on their Instagram.