Fenty Puma Is Back: Documenting the History of the Collaboration

Fenty Puma Is Back: Documenting the History of the Collaboration - C-SQUARE

It was revealed early on March 1st that Rihanna would be reviving one of her most well-known fashion collaborations, Fenty Puma, after a six-year break.

 

Rihanna's re-teaming with Puma gives us a lot to look forward to, even though we don't yet know much about what the future of the relationship will entail or when to anticipate the big re-reveal. She pushed the German sportswear company into more contemporary territory during her first stint with the company, which spanned 2014 to 2018 and channelled extreme sports and gothic subcultures.

 

How it started

 

In December 2014, Rihanna was formally announced as the brand's global ambassador for its Women's Training division and its creative director. This eventually developed into the popular Fenty x Puma sub-label.

 

"As a creative director, I can't think of a better partner with whom to work. I can't wait for you to see what PUMA and I come up with," she said about the first collaboration back in 2014.

 

The decision to partner with Rihanna immediately affected Puma's sales. Puma's fourth quarter sales in 2015 came to about $975 million, according to information provided by Bloomberg Business in February 2015. This represents a 17.1 percent increase from the company's fourth quarter sales in 2014.

 

Fenty Puma

 

The Puma Creeper

 

The Creeper, a platformed variation of Puma's iconic Suede, was arguably the most infamous product to result from Rihanna's collaboration with the brand. In 2016, Footwear News even named the upscale lifestyle silhouette Shoe of the Year. Before Travis Scott signed his own contract with Nike, campaigns featured stars like him modelling fresh colorways.

 

Later, the Fenty x Puma footwear line would diversify to include more laid-back styles like retro jelly slides in pastel colours and silky runners with big bows in place of laces. A variety of more fashionable silhouettes were also available, including leather high heels with chunky laces and Puma's recognizable side stripe branding, as well as knee-high lace-ups that cost $980.

 

Travis Scott For Fenty Puma

 

Fenty Puma Apparel FW22 Debut 

 

In February 2016 during New York Fashion Week, Rihanna unveiled her first line of Fenty Puma clothing, building on the popularity of the Creeper and other footwear. The goth-inspired line of clothing included oversized faux fur hoodies, bomber jacket-inspired off-the-shoulder dresses, corsets, crosses strung from leather chokers, black dresses with asymmetrical lacing, and sheer tops.

 

One of the most striking outfits was worn by none other than Rihanna herself; she wore a baggy patchwork coat with calf-high heels and a print resembling an old newspaper. Numerous celebrities made appearances at the show, including the Hadid sisters who walked the runway and icons like Naomi Campbell who sat front row in a long white fur coat.

 

Fenty Puma

 

Fenty Puma in Paris

 

The presentations for Fenty Puma weren't just in New York City. She made her debut during Paris Fashion Week by showing her Spring 2017 collection at the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild. In an interview with the New York Times, Rihanna compared the collection to what Marie Antoinette might wear if she needed to go to the gym. There were silky zip-up hoodies, du-rags, skirts, ruffled parkas, and other lace-detailed pieces that almost looked like soft pyjamas.

 

She once more travelled abroad to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France for her Fall/Winter 2017 collection. Her most recent Fenty Puma collection, which drew inspiration from traditional collegiate fashion, was the ideal setting for the library. Modern updates on the traditional school uniform were provided by floor-length plaid coats and cropped knit sweaters. Coats and hats were covered in chenille patchwork that was inspired by letterman jackets. Graphic ringer T-shirts had a gym uniform-like appearance. Brass knuckles were strung on necklaces as a nod to the bully at the school. Even black hoodies with detention slips stamped on the chest were seen as very literal interpretations of the school experience.

 

“When I was in school, it was always my dream to be able to dress up in whatever I wanted,” said Rihanna in an official press release about the collection. “In Barbados it was mandatory to wear a school uniform, so I had so much fun this season creating these ‘back to school’ inspired looks.”

 

Fenty Puma

 

The Final Runway Show

 

When Fenty Puma debuted their spring 2019 collection during New York Fashion Week it was like a scene out of the X Games. A motocross course with pink sand dunes and challenging ramps was created at the New York Armory by Rihanna. As models strolled the course's perimeter wearing fluorescent gear inspired by the extreme sport, riders leaped into the air to perform life-threatening tricks. Large fanny packs with mesh panelling, bodysuits streaked with racing-inspired logos, shiny anoraks with various buckles, and baggy cargo pants all made an appearance on the runway in a variety of eye-catching colorways.

 

Rihanna even performed her final runway walk while mounted on a dirt bike. It was a noteworthy event that demonstrated Rihanna had stoked excitement and introduced a novel perspective to the illustrious sportswear brand. Sadly, it was the last Fenty Puma show offered.

 

Fenty Puma Final Show

 

The Last We Heard 

 

>Rihanna declared that it would be her final Puma presentation shortly after her shocking Spring 2018 presentation. She stated that "New York is where the story of Fenty Puma began and for my final collection with them it was not even something to think twice about" in an interview with Vogue editor-at-large Hamish Bowles.

Later, to mark her participation in the Super Bowl LVII halftime show, Rihanna debuted her own lingerie line, Savage X Fenty. Since then, the line has grown to include men's loungewear, activewear, and collaborations with brands like Mitchell and Ness and the NFL. Coachella hosted the final Fenty x Puma activation in April 2018. It was a daytime gathering themed around the vivid motocross imagery she debuted in her stunning Spring 2018 show.

 

Fenty Puma

 

Now

 

It appears as though the Fenty Puma partnership has resumed, seemingly out of nowhere. The announcement was brief and to the point, in keeping with Michael Jordan's infamous "I'm Back" fax announcing his comeback to the Chicago Bulls after his initial retirement in 1995. She's Back was the sole phrase in the official press release.

Even though we don't yet know when to anticipate the new collection or what it will include specifically, the return of Rihanna's Puma partnership is reason for joy.

Fenty Puma Rihanna

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