Rihanna is back
After a six-year hiatus it was announced early in the morning on Wednesday, March 1, that Riri would be reviving one of her most popular fashion partnerships, Fenty Puma.
While we don’t know much about what the future of the relationship will entail or when to expect the grand re-reveal just yet, Rihanna linking back up with Puma gives us a lot to be excited about. Her initial tenure with the brand from 2014 to 2018 saw her push the German sportswear brand into a more modern territory that channeled subcultures from goth to extreme sports. Ri doesn’t do something unless it’s going to be the highest quality. So, expect more of the same this time around.
Upon hearing the big news, we decided to look back at the history of the Rihanna x Puma partnership. From her first runway presentation to the trendy Creeper sneakers, take a closer look below.
When: December 2014
Rihanna was officially announced as the global ambassador for Puma’s Women’s Training category and creative director of Puma Women’s division in December 2014. This eventually evolved to include her successful Fenty x Puma sub-label.
“I couldn’t think of a more perfect partner to collaborate with as a creative director. I’m excited for you to see what PUMA and I come up with,” she said when speaking on the initial partnership back in 2014.
Aligning with Rihanna had an immediate impact on Puma’s sales. As reported in February 2015 by Bloomberg Business, Puma’s 2015 fourth-quarter sales totaled roughly $975 million, a 17.1 percent jump from its fourth-quarter sales in 2014.
The Puma Creeper Debuts
When: Sept. 2015
Arguably the most notorious item to come from Rihanna’s partnership with Puma was the Creeper, a platformed version of Puma’s iconic Suede. The elevated lifestyle silhouette was even named Shoe of the Year by Footwear News in 2016. Campaigns featured stars like Travis Scott modeling new colorways before he signed his own deal with Nike. The Fenty x Puma footwear line would eventually expand into other areas to include casual footwear like nostalgic jelly slides in pastel shades and silky runners that replaced laces with giant bows. There were also an array of more fashion forward silhouettes like knee-high lace-ups that retailed for $980 and leather high heels that incorporated sneaker elements like chunky laces and Puma’s signature side stripe branding.
Fenty Puma Apparel Debuts With Fall 2016 NYFW Presentation
When: February 2016
Building off of the success of the Creeper and other footwear, Rihanna debuted her first collection of Fenty Puma apparel in February 2016 during New York Fashion Week. The goth-inspired range of apparel featured off-the-shoulder dresses inspired by bomber jackets, corsets, crosses hanging from leather chokers, black dresses with asymmetrical lacing, sheer tops, and bulky faux fur hoodies. Many of the models were given white hair that had them looking like they were fresh out of an Addams Family reboot. One of the standout looks was worn by none other than the woman herself– a baggy patchwork coat covered in a print that resembled old newspaper, which she paired with calf-high heels. The show featured its fair share of star-studded cameos from the Hadid sisters walking the runway to icons like Naomi Campbell sitting front row in a long white fur coat.
Fenty Puma in Paris
When: September 2016 and March 2017
Fenty Puma’s presentations weren’t just limited to New York City. Her Paris Fashion Week debut came when she presented her Spring 2017 collection at the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild. When speaking with the New York Times, Rihanna described the collection as, “if Marie Antoinette was going to the gym and needed something to wear.” It included silky zip-up hoodies, du-rags, skirts, ruffled parkas, and other items with lace detailing that almost resembled cozy sleepwear.
For her Fall/Winter 2017 collection, she took the Fenty Puma experience overseas once again to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. The library acted as the perfect venue for her latest Fenty Puma collection that took cues from traditional collegiate style. Cropped knit sweaters and floor-length plaid coats provided modern takes on the classic school uniform. Chenille patchwork borrowed from letterman jackets covered coats and hats. Graphic ringer T-shirts resembled gym uniforms. Brass knuckles hung from necklaces to nod to the school bully. And we even saw very literal interpretations of the school experience in the form of black hoodies with detention slips stamped on the chest.
“When I was in school, it was always my dream to be able to dress up in whatever I wanted,” said Rihanna in an official press release about the collection. “In Barbados it was mandatory to wear a school uniform, so I had so much fun this season creating these ‘back to school’ inspired looks.”
Fenty Puma’s Final Runway Show
When: September 2017
X Games but make it Fenty. That’s exactly what we were all treated to for the Fenty Puma Spring 2019 presentation during New York Fashion Week. Rihanna turned the New York Armory into a motocross course complete with pink sand dunes and steep ramps. Riders shot into the air to perform death-defying tricks as models walked the perimeter of the course in fluorescent gear inspired by the extreme sport. Pieces like shiny anoraks adorned with various buckles, bodysuits streaked with racing-inspired logos, giant fanny packs with mesh paneling, and baggy cargo pants hit the runway in a variety of striking colorways. Rihanna even made her final “walk” riding on the back of a dirt bike. It was a memorable spectacle that proved Rihanna had sparked excitement and brought a fresh approach to the storied sportswear brand. Unfortunately, it was the last Fenty Puma show we got to experience.
The End (Or Is it?)
When: October 2017
Shortly after her extreme Spring 2018 presentation, Rihanna announced that it would be her last with Puma. In an interview with Vogue editor-at-large Hamish Bowles she said, “New York is where the story of Fenty Puma began and for my final collection with them it was not even something to think twice about.”
A few months later, Rihanna debuted her own lingerie brand, Savage X Fenty, which has since grown to include men’s loungewear, activewear, and collaborations with brands like Mitchell and Ness and the NFL to celebrate her halftime performance at Super Bowl LVII.
The final Fenty x Puma activation took place at Coachella in April 2018. It was a day party centered around the colorful motocross imagery introduced by her spectacular Spring 2018 show.
When: March 2023
Seemingly out of nowhere, it looks like Fenty Puma partnership is back on. In true legendary fashion, the announcement was short and to the point a la Michael Jordan’s infamous “I’m Back” fax to announce his return to the Chicago Bulls following his first retirement in 1995. The official press release simply read, “She’s Back.”
While we have no further details about when to expect the new collection and what exactly it will entail just yet, the revival of Rihanna’s Puma partnership is cause for celebration. Let’s just hope we get a surprise announcement for her new album next.