Do you remember our blog post about Rihanna’s creative director role at Puma? Puma was suffering from a three year decline in net earnings when they hired Rihanna to bring the cool-factor back to the athletics brand. How do you think they’ve been doing?
Earlier this year at New York Fashion Week, Rihanna brought Puma to the runway with her first RTW collection for the brand. The collection was undoubtedly Rihanna, showcasing her moody interpretation of streetwear. Black lipstick and thigh-high laced sneakers were paired with oversized hooded sweatshirts. It is certainly a new direction for Puma, to say the least.
After Rihanna’s runway show on February 12th, she kept the momentum going by debuting her newest sneaker design for men and women. This CRAZY shoe, released this past Friday, February 26th, is made from Ariaprene, a fancy type of scuba neoprene that boasts a more secure and breathable fit. The men’s version of the shoe sold out on the Puma site, but it seems women haven’t been as quick to pick it up. Considering her first style sold out in three hours and has been spotted on everyone from Cara Delevigne to Lena Dunham to Jessica Alba, it will be interesting to see if the Fenty Trainer gains such a popular following.
Puma by Rihanna Fenty Trainer, $180
With this bold new direction, the question still remains: Has Puma been able to pull itself out of a slump? The last quarter of 2015 saw a 17.1% rise in sales, and CEO Bjørn Gulden agrees that it is all thanks to their new creative director. “Our co-operation with Rihanna and a strong product offering have increased the interest from both retailers and consumers. We know that we still have a lot to improve but feel that during this year we have strengthed the Puma brand, presented better products and further improved the co-operation with our retail partners.”
I have to say, I consider myself to be pretty aware of and interested in sneaker and streetwear trends but Rihanna’s collection is a little bit over my head. What do you think?
You can find Kyle Dunphy and Real Life Style on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.