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Russ & Daughters, Extra Butter kickin’ it with special, 50th anniverary Clydes

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | It’s shmear genuis.

Putting a tasty spin on sneaker culture, two Lower East Side cultural touchstones have stepped up to celebrate the iconic Clyde Puma low-top — one of the first athletic shoes featuring a pro player’s signature.

Extra Butter, a sneaker boutique and lifestyle brand, and Russ & Daughters, the legendary appetizing store, are paying homage to the Clyde, named after legenday Knicks guard Walt Frazier, on the shoe’s 50th anniversary, with a specially designed version.

The “OG,” the original sneaker with an athlete’s name on it that started it all.

With the Puma classic “formstrip” (which was originally designed as a sneaker stabilizer) and other details in aqua, the special shoe features a leaping herring at the top of the tongue, the year 1914 on the left heel, faux fish-scale leather on both heel counters and a “RUSS & DAUGHTERS” stamp on the side toward the heel of both the left and the right shoe. The pattern of the shoes’ interior is based on Russ & Daughters’ original signage. To top it all off, the custom kicks come in a 1973-style Puma box.

The launch of the sneaker mash-up will kick off with a private community event on the Lower East Side on Thurs., Feb. 16. Limited to “friends and family,” the event will see just 73 pairs of the customized shoe released, in honor of the original Clydes release in 1973.

The iconic “Russ fish” is on the tongue of the sneakers.

Back in the ’70s, basketball’s Walt “Clyde” Frazier made a name for himself on and off the court with his bold moves and colorful style. In 1973 when Frazier asked for a custom-made pair of “Suedes,” Puma reconfigured the model’s original silhouette, made it lighter and wider, stamped his moniker on the side — and the Puma Clyde was born.

There were, in fact, a few other popular “signature” sneakers that predate the Clyde, including the PF Flyers Bob Cousy All-American in 1958 and the Adidas Jabbar in 1971, named for the sky-hooking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

“Growing up in NewYork, especially as a B-boy, the Clyde is an icon,” said Bernie Gross, the creative director of Extra Butter. “It’s a simple, timeless classic and has served as a great canvas for designers to implement various aesthetics, trends and perspectives that can speak to a global audience for the past five decades. It’s a must-have for any sneaker enthusiast.”

The heels feature the date when Russ & Daughters was founded, plus special fish scale-style leather.

Extra Butter opened on Orchard Street in 2007. Russ & Daughters has been around in since 1914, a family-owned institution on the Lower East Side, purveying smoked fish, knishes, caviar and bagels. Fourth generation co-owners Niki Russ Federman and Josh Russ Tupper opened Russ & Daughters Cafe, also in 2007, an “elevated dine-in experience” on Orchard Street, around the corner from the flagship East Houston Street location, becoming neighbors to Extra Butter.

A line of Dickie’s workwear with Russ & Daughters and Extra Butter design details is also part of the campaign.

Extra Butter has also collaborated with Dickies to produce “Orchard OG’s” classic workwear that features Russ & Daughters iconography on embroidery, patchwork and chain stitching to match the Clyde sneakers’ look and feel.

In related news, West Siders will soon have a Russ & Daughters of their own. This spring the company will be opening a new store at W. 34th Street and 10th Avenue, just a few blocks from Madison Square Garden, where Frazier once made magic happen on the basketball court.

4 Comments

  1. Mary Reinholz Mary Reinholz February 13, 2023

    Say what? Is this an ad? I don’t get the headline either.

    • The Village Sun The Village Sun Post author | February 13, 2023

      It’s a style article, you could call it. Also an article about local businesses teaming up together on a project to raise their “brand awareness.” Are you giving it a thumbs down?

  2. Mary Reinholz Mary Reinholz February 13, 2023

    Well, it’s smoothly written and there’s a quote from a creative director, but it’s not clear whether this is some kinda licensing deal. It kinda reads like an press release.

  3. Mary Reinholz Mary Reinholz February 13, 2023

    It seems like a business story, one that assume the readers knows about the “iconic” Puma brand and it reads a bit like a press release, Is this a licensing deal with the 2 entities to “pay homage” to the Clyde Sneaker?

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