The archive collection is a limited edition project that revisits the history of Puma. A brand that has been part of the sportworld since the second world war. This collection focuses on the 70s and 80s era of the brand. Select designs rare and commercial have been reintroduced to the range. Buy Puma Archive Collection at Stuarts London. The latest styles and new arrrivals every season.
Christoph von Wilhelm Dassler was a worker in a shoe factory, while his wife Pauline ran a small laundry in the Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach, 20 km (12.4 mi) from the city of Nuremberg. Their son Rudolf Dassler, after leaving school, joined his father at the shoe factory, and was then called up to fight in World War I. Upon his return, Rudolf received a management position at a porcelain factory, and later in a leather wholesale business in Nuremberg.
After tiring of working for others and away from home, Rudolf returned to Herzogenaurach in 1924 to join his younger brother Adolf, nicknamed "Adi", who had founded his own shoe factory. They named the new business Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory). The pair started their venture in their mother's laundry, but at the time, electricity supplies in the town were unreliable, and the brothers sometimes had to use pedal power from a stationary bicycle to run their equipment.
By the 1936 Summer Olympics, Adi Dassler drove from Bavaria on one of the world's first motorways to the Olympic village with a suitcase full of spikes and persuaded United States sprinter Jesse Owens to use them, the first sponsorship for an African American. After Owens won four gold medals, his success cemented the good reputation of Dassler shoes among the world's most famous sportsmen. Letters from around the world landed on the brothers' desks, and the trainers of other national teams were all interested in their shoes. Business boomed and the Dasslers were selling 200,000 pairs of shoes annually before World War II.
Both brothers joined the Nazi Party, but Rudolf was slightly closer to the party. During the war, a growing rift between the pair reached a breaking point after an Allied bomb attack in 1943 when Adi and his wife climbed into a bomb shelter that Rudolf and his family were already in. "Here are the bloody bastards again," Adi said, apparently referring to the Allied war planes, but Rudolf was convinced his brother meant him and his family.:18 After Rudolf was later picked up by American soldiers and accused of being a member of the Waffen SS, he was convinced that his brother had turned him in.
In 1948, the brothers split their business. Rudolf left the high hill for the other side of the Aurach River to start his own company. It was from this split that Adolf started his own sportswear company with the name he formed using his nickname "Adi" and the first three letters of his last name "Das", to establish Adidas. Rudolf created a new firm that he called Ruda – from "Ru" in Rudolf and "Da" in Dassler. Rudolf's company would later change its name to Puma Schuhfabrik Rudolf Dassler in 1948.
The brothers' earlier split led to a divided town. From 1948, the town was similar to a mini-Berlin. Brand loyalty became supreme for residents; several stores, bakeries and bars were unofficially known as either loyal to Rudolf's Puma, or to Adolf's Adidas. Even the town's two football clubs were also divided: ASV Herzogenaurach club supported the three stripes, while 1 FC Herzogenaurach endorsed Rudolf's footwear. When handymen were called to Rudolf's home, they would wear Adidas shoes deliberately so that when Rudolf would see their footwear, he would tell them to go to the basement and pick out a pair of free Puma shoes. The two brothers never reconciled, and although both are buried in the same cemetery, they are spaced apart as far as possible.