Puma Men’s and Women’s RTW Spring 2023

·3 min read

Puma drove a stake in the ground Tuesday night, loudly pronouncing its return to New York Fashion Week and its goal to gain a larger share of the lucrative American sports and streetwear markets.

On the eve of its 75th anniversary in 2023, the German sports brand held an energetic multimedia runway show in lower Manhattan — its first since 2017 — that drew celebrities, influencers and athletes to help kick off the party.

More from WWD

The show, called Futrograde, was developed by June Ambrose, Puma’s creative director, and served to showcase the brand’s past, present and future. From the retro tracksuits to the Nitro Nfrno and Fastroid sneakers that are accessed through NFTs, the show offered something for everyone. And the appearance of a well-known ambassador, multiple Olympic Gold Medalist sprinter Usain Bolt, wearing a Puma-style formalwear look — black joggers with the brand’s signature formstrip in white with matching tails that dragged behind him — was among the highlights of the show.

That reimagined take on the track suit was revisited throughout the evening along with a number of collections from current and future seasons including collaborations with AC Milan; Dapper Dan; Koche, a line targeted to women, and Palomo Spain, a genderless collection. It also offered a sneak peek at the June Ambrose collection, Keeping Score, that will launch next year.

For the core collection, Puma offered several iterations of its performance-blended-with-fashion offerings. That includes the Downtown, a sustainably based streetwear collection; Luxe Sport, a fashion-forward representation with exaggerated dimensions and reimagined branding; Player’s Lounge, a new take on the football uniform in elevated materials; Puma Tech, a functional streetwear line with technical attributes, and Uptown, a premium streetwear collection.

The evening also served as the launch of Black Station, Puma’s first metaverse website experience that featured exclusive non-fungible tokens with limited-edition redeemable physical sneakers. Shoppers who mint a Nitropass can enter a digital lobby with three separate portals that will unveil the Nfrno and Fastroid sneakers where they can claim the shoes and burn their NFT. Black Station also allows access to the NYFW show and encourages interaction with the collection’s pieces.

The extravaganza drew many of Puma’s top executives who flew in from Germany to attend the show. That included global chief executive officer Bjorn Gulden who was in the midst of a whirlwind global tour that included the Formula 1 races in Milan, the Diamond track-and-field races in Zurich and other events.

Beyond these events, Gulden is gearing up for the 75th anniversary next year and said the brand will zero in on its mantra of Forever Faster. “Those two words describe everything we do: forever is about the history and credibility of the classic business, and faster is about performance.”

Gulden admitted that while Puma may be older than many of its biggest competitors including Nike and Adidas, “we have not done a good enough job compared to other brands. Nike is 25 years younger, and they’ve done a little better job. But we have all the ingredients. And what is good is that we have spent the COVID[-19] period establishing ourselves in performance again. So now we have a good basketball business, we have a good running business, we have a good golf business, we have a good soccer business. Now it’s time to be more aggressive on the lifestyle side.”

Despite the macroeconomic headwinds including inflation, wars and a looming recession, Gulden said Puma will “swim against all the negativity. We have so many good things to celebrate. I’m very proud of what June has done because it showcases the brand’s past and future and the whole metaverse. There are so many exciting tools and we are happy to be in this industry because it combines fashion, comfort and performance. So I’m very optimistic.”

Launch Gallery: Puma Futrograde RTW Spring 2023

Click here to read the full article.