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How Rihanna and Puma Dreamed Up the Most Desirable Shoe of 2016

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This year brought plenty of great shoe styles, but Rihanna’s Fenty Puma Creeper was the clear, absolute choice for Shoe of the Year. The sneaker had universal appeal to both men and women, and with the help of mega-star Rihanna’s celebrity platform, generated tremendous hype and strong global sales.

For Puma, bringing Rihanna on board as women’s creative director was a similarly obvious choice.

In 2014, Puma was in the process of a major rebranding. Olympic gold medal sprinter Usain Bolt was the most recognizable face of the Herzogenaurach, Germany- based, Kering-owned athletic company, and it became evident that Puma desperately needed a female face to embody its new sport-with-attitude direction.

Cue the brainstorming sessions. “We had all these names, and none of them made any sense,” said Adam Petrick, Puma’s global director of brand and marketing. “When we expanded the circle to entertainment and fashion, it was so clear who it needed to be. Rihanna exactly matched the brand values.”

As it turns out, it made a lot of sense on Rihanna’s side, too. The Grammy Award-winning singer, who is often lauded for her daring style, was interested in the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the brand’s success. Rihanna and Puma announced their relationship in December 2014.

By the time of the first drop of the Creeper — a spin on Puma’s Basket silhouette with a creeper-style midsole — in September 2015, there was so much built-up anticipation that the shoes sold out in three hours.

The Creeper has continued to be a best-seller, and Rihanna’s partnership with Puma has expanded to include the release of a trainer, a faux-fur slide and two hot-ticket runway shows. For Puma, the collaboration has been a driving factor behind its rising sales recently. In the third quarter of 2016, footwear was its strongest category, with sales up 16.4 percent, thanks in large part to the Fenty line.

The magnitude of the Creeper’s success is not lost on Rihanna.

So what’s the recipe for this hit shoe? It’s equal parts wearability and Rihanna’s celebrity pull, said Petrick. “This is not a crazy product that’s hard to imagine yourself wearing,” said the executive, citing the color variety as a key part of the success. “And hey, it’s Rihanna. She’s brought an energy and excitement that would have been impossible for us as a brand to accomplish. She has an immense following, and when she asks her following to participate in something, they do.”

And the global star did not merely slap her name on a shoe. Petrick recalled that at one of Puma’s early meetings with Rihanna in New York, she came armed with handouts expressing her ideas. “It was amazing, and now you see how everything she talked about at that time came through in the creative direction,” he said.

As for retailers, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. “The launch of the Creeper is game-changing for women’s sneaker fashion,” said Natalie Ellis, VP and GM at Six:02, Foot Locker’s women’s banner. “We saw tremendous consumer excitement for the silhouette and Rihanna’s passion for fusing sport and style.”

Petrick agreed: “It’s pretty clear we have something that everybody wants. You can see that shoe from a distance of 25 feet and you know what it is, but it is also easy to wear. That’s a killer combination. That’s what it takes to be a Shoe of the Year.”

Via Footwear News
Source: Latest News

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Savage X Fenty’s Summer Drop is Here

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New Savage X Fenty lingerie from the #UCUTE and #DAMN categories are out now! Check out the new drop of basics, lace slips, robes and more at SAVAGEX.com.

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Charity

Rihanna’s Fourth Diamond Ball to Be Held in NYC

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We are just two months away from this year’s Diamond Ball on September 13! Here‘s a look back at last year to start off our countdown:

The third Diamond Ball raised over $5 million to support CLF’s global education, health and emergency response programs around the world. The evening featured high-energy performances by Grammy Award-winning recording artists Kendrick Lamar and Calvin Harris.

“I am thrilled to bring the Diamond Ball to New York City and bring everyone closer to the mission, the partnerships, the programs and the people at the heart of it all,” said Rihanna at the 2017 Diamond Ball. “Together, we are funding groundbreaking and effective global education, health and emergency response programs. We are investing in the future and helping to improve the quality of life for young people and their families around the globe.”

Read more about Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation.

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Awards

Rihanna nominated for the 2018 MTV VMAs

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Congratulations to N.E.R.D and Rihanna! Their 2017 collab “Lemon” is nominated for Best Collaboration and Best Editing at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

The 2018 VMAs will air live from Radio City Music Hall in New York on Monday, August 20. Vote here.

In 2016, Rihanna performed four times at the VMAs and took home the Michael Jackson Vanguard Award. Watch below:

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