“She’s back,” read a brief statement from Puma chief executive Arne Freundt in a one-line press release issued by the German sportswear giant on Wednesday, confirming the tie-up.
Rihanna’s previous tenure working with Puma ran from 2014 to 2018, when she was tapped as creative director of the brand’s womenswear business, leading to a dedicated Fenty and Puma line.
The Barbadian singer-songwriter helped Puma to achieve cultural relevance once again under former chief executive Bjørn Gulden, who orchestrated a turnaround in the brand’s fortunes after inheriting a struggling business which had lost its reputation for both performance and lifestyle products when he began his role in 2013.
Fenty’s reintroduction as a Puma collaborator comes as the brand seeks to boost its cultural cachet and lifestyle offering once again to remain competitive with its larger rivals Nike and Adidas. (One of Gulden’s final moves before departing for Adidas was to sign a partnership with British rapper Skepta, paving the way for a co-designed sub-label focussed on menswear and sneakers.)
Puma also announced full-year earnings for 2022 on Wednesday, reporting sales of €8.5 billion ($9 billion), up 24 percent from the year before, and EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) of €641 million, up 15 percent. A profit margin of 46.1 percent marked a 1.8 percent decrease year-over-year. Meanwhile, sales in China continued to plummet last year, down 36 percent from 2021, although Freundt told analysts that sales in the region are expected to improve in 2023.
Salomon’s Super Bowl Surprise
Rihanna wore the MM6 Maison Margiela X Salomon Cross Low sneakers as part of her all-red ensemble during the halftime performance, marking the culmination of the outdoor footwear brand’s recent rise in fashion.
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