The fashion world is currently experiencing a resurgence of athletic leisure gear, and has thus seen brands such as adidas, retail giants Topshop and Nike enlist big names such as Kanye West, Beyonce, Rita Ora and the likes of Minnie Dlamini, Lootlove and Nandi Mngoma locally, to help them gain a share of this competitive market. It’s no surprise that Puma, who isn’t really considered a major player within the sneaker industry, decided to lure pop sensation Rihanna with a ‘Creative Director’ title.
Even though Puma does not come close to adidas and Nike in terms of cultural clout, it seems as though the brand may be well on their way to changing this as a result of their celebrity endorsements. Following the Rihanna signing, Bloomberg Business reported that Puma beat their average fourth quarter financial projections by a colossal $34.5 million. CEO Bjorn Gulden told the press “Rihanna can sell sneakers and Puma is onto something here which we haven’t seen yet in the women’s area”. Well I could have told you that for free Mr Gulden.
Much to brother-in-law Kanye’s chagrin, the German sportswear brand also announced that they had signed a deal with Kylie Jenner. The million dollar collaboration between Puma and the youngest ‘Kardashian” kicked off with a PUMA Fierce women’s trainer, followed by the newly launched second campaign, which has everything from sweatpants to jackets to socks, with a special focus on the brand’s retro-leaning suede designs. PUMA has however disclosed that Jenner will be allowed to wear adidas on occasion. Happy Ye?
It’s clear that Puma’s strategy of signing two of the biggest influencers in the entertainment world is paying off. Additionally, the brand also announced that Actress and face of Neutrogena, Nomzamo Mbatha would be joining the brand as a local Ambassador. She is currently Mzansi’s IT Girl, from gracing global red carpets, magazine covers and fashionista nods, Puma is clearly taking notes. I see you Puma.
Personally, I don’t own a single item from the brand, but I must admit that the Creepers have a piece of my heart. I don’t care much for the Fenty Trainer. It’s one of those “only Rihanna can pull it off’ items.