Rihanna, once crowned the world’s most marketable celebrity, is reprising her role as creative director for the latest Fenty x Puma collaborative drop.
The popular singer and maternity style star joined with Puma on Thursday to announce the debut of their first footwear franchise since 2018. The Fenty x Puma Avanti, available Sept. 15 in select stores and online, offers features from two of Puma’s iconic styles—the King football boot and the Easy Rider running shoe.
The Fenty x Puma Avanti is a trend-forward take on the global football craze, with the soft, vintage leather upper of the football shoe, a foldover tongue debossed and printed with a gold foil Fenty and Puma cat logo, and a gum outsole and a leather footbed that pulls influence from the running sneaker. The style will be available in men’s, women’s and children’s sizes. Launching in a black and white color way with leather chrome details, the Avanti will drop in a second iteration later this fall.
The launch represents an evolution in the partners’ work together, with Rihanna working in concert with Puma’s product team to reimagine a style based on the brand’s archives. The King football boot, first released in 1968, has been worn over the years by the sport’s icons, including Eusébio da Silva Ferreira, Pelé and Diego Maradona. Ten years later, Puma launched a jogging shoe franchise that evolved into the Easy Rider. Jil Sander and Puma collaborated on a shoe that blended the two styles in 1998, serving as the inspiration for the Avanti, which dropped three years later.
“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. A fan of the sport and the off-the-field aesthetic it has inspired, the creative director added her own “personal design language,” including details on the leather and gum outsole.
“It’s been such an exciting start to our partnership,” Puma chief product officer Maria Valdes said. “We spent time together opening up the Puma archive and identifying the right product that spoke to Rihanna.”
“The Avanti is a Puma classic with a unique and iconic point of view on terrace,” she added. “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.”
Rihanna’s history with the brand dates back to 2015 with the launch of the Fenty x Puma Creeper, a thick-soled lace-up with casual appeal. The partners developed several footwear and apparel collections, like a trainer and a faux fur slide, over the ensuing three years, hosting fashion shows in New York and Paris to promote the drops. Earlier this year, Puma announced Rihanna’s revival of their collaboration. The Avanti’s release will feature a campaign shot by Dennis Leupold on a set inspired by the pentagon shape of the stitching on a football, with recognizable faces like rappers A$AP Nast and Pure, as well as Australian actor Felix Mallard and the creative director herself.
The renewal of the partnership gives Puma an opportunity to recapture some of the magic of previous drops, and capitalize on Rihanna’s golden touch. The Savage x Fenty intimates brand, reportedly eyeing an IPO, was estimated to be worth $3 billion in March 2022, and Fenty Beauty, launched in 2017, is reportedly worth about $2.8 billion.
Beauty and wellness marketplace Fresha this week ranked the skincare and cosmetics label third in a list of the top 10 celebrity beauty brands, with the highest average global monthly search volume at 656,000 searches each month, and the second-highest Instagram following of 12.6 million, following Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics. The company generates more than 3 billion views each year on TikTok, second only to Selena Gomez-owned Rare Beauty.