Misha Hollenbach and Shauna Toohey, founders of cult Australian streetwear brand Perks And Mini (PAM for short), are big fans of football fans.
“We’re interested in the fans and the way that you can connect, you don’t have to be a professional athlete or even know the rules. You can just plug into the energy of it and be part of it. And we think that’s really magic and something that humans do that’s really positive,” she continues, before explaining PAM’s interest in the power of human connection, something that’s characterised their many collaborations during two decades in the streetwear game.
This energy is at the center of PAM’s newest collection, a team-up with PUMA turning football inside-out by looking at it from the outside-in. Less football hooligan and more football hallucinogen, the collection’s graphic tees, coach jackets and baggy trousers trip on gamified graphics and futuristic insignia. This approach reboots the beautiful game into something entirely new; the cut-and-sew velour formstrip swaps stripes for trippy flowers and the PUMA’s Cell Dome King is turned into a futuristic pair of kicks.
The collection also marks the third edition of the PAM/PUMA BIO/VERSE, a collaborative project that sees both brands build a multiverse inspired by nature and otherworldly biomes. “Biodiversity completely matches up for us,” Misha says, using it as an analogy for the creative industry. “We don’t want to be on the top of a pile, we want to be in the pile, we want to be vibing off people and their energy and making things with friends,” he adds.
The first iteration of the project saw both brands install biodiversity monitoring technology in the Amazon, while the second supported habitat restoration in North Sumatra. For the third season, it’s a cause closer to home, The Australian Wildlife Conservancy; PUMA and PAM are supporting the charity’s rewilding efforts, which includes reintroducing the ridiculously cute numbat to the country. As a global conservation leader, AWC’s rewilding program has seen the restoration of 22 species, with more than 40 populations reintroduced across ten AWC sanctuaries.
For PAM, the football pitch is another green space, but one surrounded by the urban. “It’s our take of bringing it back to the city. We shot the campaign at pitches outside of Milan that are basically overgrown with weeds, because that’s how they are,” Misha says. “We loved the idea that nature was coming back for these fabricated, normally manicured football pitches. We’re all for the weeds as well,” he adds.
This grassroots approach is cross-pollinated with digital culture for the campaign. The result is a trippy optical illusion of overgrown footie pitches, CGI liquid forms and fourth-wall moments where the studio setting sneaks in.
“It’s like a choose-your-own-adventure or video game, it’s about movement between the planes of the digital and natural worlds,” Misha explains. This interdimensional approach reflects that of the collection itself; the Plexus trainers, for example, feature 3D applique flowers. The ambient soundtrack for the campaign, created by kaleidoscopic selector Yu Su, further cultivates this virtual sensory garden.
So is this, ahem, psychoactivewear the next big thing? “Your brain is a muscle, people need to remember that. So if you need to wear activewear while building muscles, well, your brain is one as well,” Misha laughs. “It’s something we would definitely encourage,” Shauna confirms.