After first returning in 2017 with Rihanna’s now-defunct fashion house Fenty, Puma returned to the official New York Fashion Week schedule on Tuesday night.
Set at Cipriani 25 Broadway on Wall Street – a space covered in monolithic columns and gleaming ceilings – German activewear label “Footgrade”‘s show came shortly before its 75th anniversary. As his (relatively new) creative director and designer June Ambrose reintroduced Puma not only with the expected comfortable athleisure show, but surprisingly, he added a number of elevated, high-fashion silhouettes to the mix. come in According to Ambrose, to bring Puma back to the forefront of fashion.
A few days before the show, while squeezing assistants with bags of clothes and finishing their final shots, Ambrose took a moment to talk to me about the brand’s anticipation for New York Fashion Week — all while squeezing in her — for a morning jam and a toast.
“We want to recreate iconic moments that made the brand and feel like we can still speak to it,” she says. “It’s about creating street style with a classic sensibility. For me, that’s a great approach because you have to limit and show a lot.” [try not] To over design to tell the story. Rather, there is something very beautiful about the simplicity of it all.”
Before the runway, she visited Puma’s headquarters in Germany to research past styles from decades-old archives, finding ways to reimagine retro pieces like the T7 classic tracks. Ambrose’s heritage for Puma manifests itself in the collection, which pays homage to the streetwear that the brand pioneered. Baggy pants, layered ensembles and oversized, exaggerated ‘fits for what he was doing in the late ’90s and early 2000s – all while elevating and looking forward to the brand.
“When you take things back to where they started, you find so many beautiful things,” she says. “The show was really meant to highlight select products in the lifestyle fashion space.”
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Puma also showcased a number of popular collaborations on the catwalk from the likes of Dapper Dan, Palomo, AC Milan and Coach – all interpreting the brand’s heritage in their own way. With over-fullness and more specifically, in fashion, Puma stands out as a heritage brand for its customers, returning to what it means to be authentic.
The show was divided into three parts and took viewers through the Puma timeline, which celebrated the most iconic brands in the industry. Amidst the models strutting down the elevated catwalk, performers added more excitement and focus to the event. They roamed the runway rocking the dance sequences, and sometimes blended into the stage and fanned themselves.
On top of this, Puma proved its ability to innovate by incorporating many technological concepts into the show: it launched a parallel metaverse fashion show experience called Black Station. Black Site connects consumers with a variety of Web3 activations that are slated to emerge in the coming years. “It’s still unknown, so it’s nice to have this intangible product and actually get a tangible product, which is something special about this,” says Ambrose.
The Puma team also showcased the playfulness of blackness by incorporating childhood favorite hair accessories such as colorful hair bobbles, colorful barrettes, jeweled clips and more. Other highlights include otherworldly hats, high heels and chunky sneakers.
“[I’m excited] To celebrate my contribution to culture, my work in this space over the years is to re-establish this global brand and that Puma is more than just sports,” Ambrose explained. “It’s also about life. And Style. I always say life is a sport, and we played into this power of confidence and tapped into our ‘AI’ – and by ‘AI’ I mean real intelligence, because there’s nothing artificial about how we’re getting here.
The show will include both pieces from fall 2022 — available immediately after the show — and others expected to air in spring 2023. Check out every Puma runway show below.
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