Blog: Leonie BarriePuma’s designer ambitions

Leonie Barrie | 28 February 2008

Puma has long described itself as a ‘sportlifestyle’ brand, so teaming up with designer Hussein Chalayan to add fashion lines to its athletic performance and lifestyle ranges is really a logical progression for the company.

Puma has already collaborated with designers such as Jil Sander and Neil Barrett in the past, but with Chalayan takes the strategy to a new level. In return for the designer’s creative input, Puma will provide substantial financial support to Chalayan's own-name conceptual fashion label.

It will also be able to call on the resources and infrastructure of parent company PPR – whose fashion labels include Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen – to help develop the Hussein Chalayan brand.

Of course collaborations with designers are nothing new in the sportswear market. Adidas AG teams up with designer Yohji Yamamoto for its Y3 fashion label, and has a hugely successful collection of gym, yoga and running wear with Stella McCartney.

But by joining forces with Chalayan, who is best known for his avant-garde designs, Puma seems to be sending out a clear message that it intends to take a step upscale in fashion terms and, as its CEO Jochen Zeitz says, “move into a new space.” Speaking today he said: “You buy a car because it looks good and drives fast – it's the same with our product.”

Puma pounces on designer Hussein Chalayan


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