Cape Town, South Africa, 7 September 2023 – Global icon Rihanna and sports company PUMA have officially launched their newest product franchise together. Rihanna returns to the brand as the Creative Director of FENTY x PUMA with a multi-year partnership and several product launches in the pipeline.
The return of FENTY x PUMA blends PUMA’s deep history and heritage in sport with Rihanna’s iconic stature as a leader in music, culture and fashion. The FENTY x PUMA Avanti, the first footwear franchise of the partnership, is an unconventional mix of two PUMA icons blending the high-quality leather design of the King football boot with the outsole of the heritage running shoe, Easy Rider.
Rihanna and PUMA have a history of launching disruptive fashion takes on sport styles over the course of their relationship together – starting in 2015 with the iconic Creeper. Rihanna and PUMA launched several footwear and apparel collections over the course of 2015 – 2018, including the FENTY x PUMA trainer, the FENTY x PUMA fur slide, and much more. With four fashion shows in both New York and Paris, FENTY x PUMA served as a catalyst for PUMA’s brand impact and relevance over the past decade.
Rihanna’s love of football coupled with the sports’ great influence off the pitch served as the starting point for this footwear franchise. Rihanna’s take of this classic style paves the way for a new era of sport fashion collaborations with PUMA.
In addition, it was important to both Rihanna and PUMA to ensure that this launch be offered to the entire family—delivering a collection that looks as arguably cool on kids as it will on their parents. Worn by legends and now remixed by Rihanna herself, the Avanti is also being offered as a unisex shoe for both adults and kids.
In 1968, the original PUMA king football boot was born, worn by icons like Eusebio, Pelé and Maradona. In 1978, the PUMA miele started a new jogging shoe franchise which would eventually evolve into the PUMA Easy Rider. In 1998, Jil Sander and PUMA launched the first ever fashion collaboration blending these two styles with the Jil Sander King. This shoe served as the design inspiration of the Avanti which was later established by PUMA in 2001. Now in 2023, Rihanna has added her personal design language and creative elements, from the details of the leather to the gum of the outsole, putting her very own spin on this classic PUMA style.
“I wanted to bring something iconic from the archives to the street, and the late great Pelé made the Avanti shoe so iconic. ” said Rihanna.
“It’s been such an exciting start to our partnership,” said Maria Valdes, Chief Product Officer at PUMA. “We spent time together opening up the PUMA archive and identifying the right product that spoke to Rihanna. The Avanti is a PUMA classic with a unique and iconic point of view on terrace. I’m very happy to see this project come to life and even more excited for what the coming years have in store for us together.”
The FENTY x PUMA Avanti is a fashion take on the football trend with buttery soft vintage leather, a fold over tongue with a debossed and printed gold-foil FENTY and PUMA CAT logo. With a gum outsole and leather footbed, the details of the Avanti nod to PUMA’s deep history and heritage in the sport of football. The black and white version is complimented by a chrome execution with laser etched logos and leather chrome details.
As Creative Director, Rihanna’s first FENTY x PUMA campaign – shot by Dennis Leupold with a set design inspired by the pentagon shape and stitching on a football – features notable names including Rihanna, A$AP Nast, Pure, Felix Mallard as well as two young kids.
The FENTY x PUMA Avanti will be available from 16 September 2023on PUMA.com, PUMA Retailstores and Shelflife. A second Avanti drop will follow this fall. More details to come.