- The Fenty x Puma partnership teased in March has officially returned, with a new shoe design launching Friday and more products to follow as part of multi-year partnership, according to a company release. Fenty founder and musician Rihanna will serve as creative director for the venture.
- The first footwear drop of the partnership, called the Avanti, combines design elements of Puma’s King soccer shoe and its Easy Rider running shoe, and it will be offered as a unisex shoe in adult and children’s sizes, per the release. It will be available at select retailers and via Puma’s e-commerce site.
- The first Rihanna partnership with Puma lasted four years and ended in 2018. That partnership helped push Puma to almost $1 billion in sales during the first year of the collaboration.
The Avanti features a fold-over tongue with Fenty and Puma cat logos, and is available in black and white or chrome, both with gum outsoles and leather footbeds. The black colorway retails for $160, the chrome $170, with preschool styles retailing for $95, and infant shoes retailing for $80, per a spokesperson email to Fashion Dive. Puma said in its release that a second Avanti drop was scheduled for later this fall.
"I wanted to bring something iconic from the archives to the street, and the late great Pelé made the Avanti shoe so iconic," Rihanna said in the release.
The original Rihanna collaboration with Puma made fashion waves with several now-collectible footwear styles including the Fenty by Puma Creeper, the Fenty x Puma fur slide and the Fenty x Puma bow sneaker. The partnership also included four fashion shows with presentations in New York and Paris.
In the six years since Rihanna ended her first collaboration with Puma, the musician launched and then paused a fashion line with LVMH, became the youngest self-made woman billionaire in the U.S., performed in the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show of all time, and stepped away from her role as CEO of Savage X Fenty, the lingerie line she launched in 2018.
Puma’s H1 sales were up 12.7% year over year, and its footwear sales increased 23.5% for the category, according to the company’s July earnings report. However, earnings were down 2.7% in the Americas for the half, and down 4.4% for the quarter. On that earnings call, Puma CEO Arne Freundt said, "Currently we see no signs of improvement in the U.S.” However, the Rihanna line may help boost sales for the region, given its previous popularity.
"We spent time together opening up the PUMA archive and identifying the right product that spoke to Rihanna,” Maria Valdes, chief product officer at Puma said in the release, adding, “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.”
Correction: In a previous version of this article, Rihanna was misidentified. She is the youngest self-made woman billionaire in the U.S.