PUMA has made a bold and colourful addition to its iconic RS sneaker franchise by launching the RS-Fast, which takes cues from the early 2000s and blends in futuristic aesthetics.

Featuring: riyaadhismail

Make-up: k.hotii_

Photography: ThaboThabiso

Assistant: grape.the.creator

Riyaadh Ismail is a multi-faceted designer and embodies the true spirit of a passionate creative. Also based in Joburg, Riyaadh believes in sustainability and producing garments that are timeless.

We caught up with Riyaadh to talk about his journey into the design world so far, love for sneakers, and influences.

The RS-Fast is created for the next generation of sneaker lovers, those who are not afraid of ideas with bold styles and colorful clothes.

Can you tell our readers about yourself and what you do?
I’m Riyaadh Ismail, 21 years old, from Fietas, Johannesburg. I’m a self-taught fashion designer and stylist. I’m also a sneaker fanatic and 3rd-year business administration student.

Tell us about the designer work that you do...
Without getting too deep, my journey into design was not the easiest. I was studying for a degree I did not want to and was in a really bad place with regards to my mental health. After hitting rock bottom, I decided to pursue my passion. I spent 5 hours every day, for 14 months, teaching myself how to become a producer in fashion, rather than a consumer and admirer. My main focus is on sustainability, producing garments that are timeless, rather than seasonal.

What influences your designs and creative process?
Everything around me influences me. From nature to my childhood, western culture vs our culture. I like sentimentality and detail, I don’t design for hype or culture. Everything I design comes with a back story sentimental to myself and South African culture.

How do you approach / come up with your styling ideas?... Putting pieces together, the colour combos, etc.
The main thing with styling, for me, is comfort. You can be dripped head to toe in the latest high-end gear, but if you aren’t comfortable in what you’re wearing. The combo won’t communicate. In terms of color palettes, fashion is art. I use fashion to express myself. You can tell a lot about a person just from their outfit.

Residing in Joburg, how do you balance work x life in a fast-paced city?
I love our city. In terms of its fast pace, I’m doing what I love. So I cope with it by enjoying every single moment, taking time to appreciate how my concepts start from an idea and become something tangible.

What excites you about the current state of fashion?
More than anything, the fact that the next generation (us) are so open-minded. What excites me is that soon, fashion won’t be gender-based and to me, that’s amazing because art isn’t gender-based, why should fashion be.

Tell us about your love for sneakers? And how it ties to your design style?
My love for sneakers began in primary school when every year I’d save up or wait for my birthday to cop new kicks. Sneakers, just like fashion, in essence, are meant for utility. However, detail, materials, meaning, and history. Turned utility into art. I base my fit off of my kicks, always. The first collection I ever designed was corduroy. No surprise that my favourite sneaker is and always will be, the SW X Nike air max 97.

What words of advice do you have for this next generation of young creatives?
Believe in yourself, don’t be disheartened by people who doubt your passions. Pursue your passions with everything you have, we have one life. Don’t spend it doing what other people want you to do.

Do you have a favourite project you’ve worked on to-date?
My Corduroy collection with CUFFEDBOYZCLUB, as I was continuously told not to use Corduroy. That corduroy was “before our time” and when it dropped, we changed the youth's perception of classic material. Also because it's my favorite material, my first collection, and my favorite color palette. That collection embodies who I am.

Can you describe your aesthetic for us in three words?
Comfort, color, and quality.

What’s been the most challenging aspect of 2020 for you so far?
My biggest goal for the year was to host a pop-up store and art gallery, featuring all my work. Due to COVID, I wasn’t able to. However, god willing, I will host it before the year is up.

Finally, what are you looking forward to in 2021?
Proving to myself, and to my family, that I will make a career out of my passion.

The PUMA RS-Fast design features bold branding and highly visible graphics. PUMA moved a minimized formstrip to the midsole, while the company’s leaping cat logo was added to the side. This drop features athletic colourways and mesh and textile uppers with suede and synthetic overlays, updated midsole pods, and a new TPU heel.

Catered for both Men and Women, the PUMA RS-Fast (R1 999) is now available at PUMA.com, PUMA stores, The Cross Trainer, Side Step, Shesha, Archive online, and select retailers.

PUMA RS-FAST (Black-Elek.Green-H.R.Red)


PUMA FAST RIDER (Black-White-Elektro Peach)


PUMA RS-FAST (Puma Black-White-Red Blast)




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