2017 was a big one for PUMA. The past 12 months saw a flurry of celebrity partnerships and technical innovations that have kept the brand riding the wave of success. The brand enlisted some serious star power as Rihanna churned out hit after hit and The Weeknd introduced the Parallel. This A-list support saw PUMA gain ground against the Swoosh and the Three Stripes. Then, to cap things off, the Big Cat dropped their latest sub-foot cushioning, Jamming technology.
PUMA's 2017 Highlight Reel
Date: December 18 2017
By: Cesca Benson
RIHANNA HEADS THE BIG CAT'S LINEUP
You couldn’t talk about PUMA in 2017 without talking about Rihanna and Fenty. The singer, again, looked into her sartorial crystal ball and presented us with more of the boundary-pushing kicks and Fenty flavour that have made her PUMA's most valuable asset.
Not skipping a beat after last year’s trailblazing Creeper, Rihanna stacked it on (literally) and brought us the Cleated version. Amping up the chunky sole of the original, RiRi gave us more to love by adding another tread. Whether it was adorning our shoes with giant ribbons, saying ‘FU’ with slides, or bringing fluffy footwear from the boudoir to the street, Rihanna had us eating out of the palm of her hand. Yes, her designs are extra, but would we have it any other way? Hell no.
In the male-dominated sneaker arena, Rihanna brought her devil-may-care attitude and switched up the landscape. Fenty and PUMA bounced from success to success and proved that tapping into the often overlooked female market means more than slapping pink and purple on a shoe.
PUMA knew they was onto a good thing with the success of Fenty, and continued to sign-on with celebrity influencers throughout the year.
Canadian crooner The Weeknd was one of their biggest players, and released his much-rumoured signature shoe mid-year. The Parallel took a military-esque approach and was a departure from the shoes the singer had previously sported in his campaigns for the Big Cat. First treated to an off-white version, olive and black iterations were quick to follow, as well as a Canadian tuxedo-inspired apparel collection.
Selena Gomez also donned a Formstripe in 2017. The Phenom, which released in November, blended fashion and functionality and was created to multitask, just like its singer-actor-Instagram-savant herself.
In continuing their support of the female sneaker community, the Big Cat signed Cara Delevingne as part of the #DoYou campaign. The initiative, which encourages women to celebrate what it means to be a woman, was launched alongside PUMA’s new Muse Echo silhouette, with Delevingne at the helm.
Recently, the sneakerscape has been dominated by Air and BOOST, but PUMA blasted onto the scene this year with the introduction of ‘Jamming’ technology. By arriving fashionably late to the party, the Big Cat were able to take the best bits of comfort tech and combine them. The foam ‘NRGY beads’ that fill the airy midsole move and adjust with each step for optimum comfort.
Adaptive technology was on the tip of the sneakersphere’s collective tongue this year and the Big Cat came to the table with an innovation that not only moves with you, but also looks pretty damn cool. The outlandish sole sits under a smooth evoKNIT upper, taking no attention away from the star of the show. Even though we've only seeo one colourway so far, rest assured 2018 has plenty of Jamming comfort coming your way.
There's no denying this year was a good one for PUMA, seeing their celeb partnerships pay off in a big way and coming through with fresh new tech. We can't wait to see where the Big Cat will prowl next year.