September 9, 2023
Football and running are the inspiration for the first model of the new collaboration between Fenty by Rihanna and Puma. The line, which will be released on September 15th, is a mash-up of two sneakers from the German Feline archive: the King football sneaker and the Easy Rider running shoe. The collaborative lab is a nod to Jil Sander’s 1998 partnership with Puma, in which the German designer brought urban style to designs worn by Pelé, Eusebio or Maradona. An important launch for Puma: Rihanna, the inevitable muse in front of the lens of Dennis Leupold, accompanied by A$AP Nast, Pure and Felix Mallard.
An important start for the game of Arne Freundt, appointed CEO of Puma last year: to write a continuation of the story that left its mark in 2015. Eight years ago, Bjorn Gulden, Freundt’s predecessor and now CEO of arch-rival Adidas, pulled off a masterstroke. He signed a collaboration agreement with the Barbados star, which remains one of the historical milestones of the successful collaboration between the artist and the sportswear brand. Last March, the German hardware manufacturer announced the return of global star Rihanna as artistic director of the FentyXPuma line.
“The debut of our partnership was exciting,” Maria Valdez, Puma’s chief product officer, said in a statement. “We spent time together going through the Puma archives and identifying the product that would suit Rihanna best. Avanti is a brand classic from a unique and iconic point of view. I’m thrilled to see this project succeed and even more excited about what the coming years will bring for us together.”
In Rihanna’s case, the Avanti received a trendy new treatment using vintage leather and an embossed Fenty Puma logo printed in gold foil. A clear nod to football history, the black and white version is precise in detail, with laser-etched logos and chrome leather details. A model that goes against the running and sports trends. daddy’s shoesis currently very developed.
It’s clear that the German brand and its new boss are betting big on this partnership and its launch. Rihanna’s global fame, with her 145 million Instagram followers, may seem like a powerful asset. Which, for example, benefited the Salomon company, whose model the world star, originally from Barbados, wore during the last Super Bowl. However, success like 2015 is not guaranteed. The failure of Beyonce and her label Ivy Park’s collaboration with Adidas is a prime example of this.
Eight years ago, Creepy was keeping up with the times and meeting consumer needs. Puma was re-entering the sportswear market, which was then dominated by Nike and Adidas. Since then, the offering has expanded significantly, as have the number of partnerships between influencers and music stars with various brands. Therefore, competition is becoming fiercer. Arne Freundt’s team will also be judged on its ability to create dynamism around the line, beyond the announcement effect.
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