Puma’s upcoming campaign around its Suede Classic taps a roster of cool kids that is a nod to old-school New York street culture.
The company’s campaign, launching Friday, features brothers Khalif and Aaquil Brown of the hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd, rapper Young Thug, Snapchat star YesJulz and Kylie Jenner in shots taken in Brooklyn by street photographer Jamel Shabazz. The images reference the Eighties and Nineties, infusing those looks with current “up-and-coming movers of culture,” explained Puma global director of brand and marketing Adam Petrick. “It’s an old school versus new school sort of thing,” he added.
The campaign is heavy on point-of-sale marketing along with digital and outdoor media. The goal: feature the “up-and-coming movers of culture” in the campaign, Petrick said.
The campaign marks the first time Rae Sremmurd has partnered with Puma on marketing efforts.
For the two females featured in the campaign, it’s a continuation of a goal set forth a few years ago when Puma inked a deal to partner with Rihanna in late 2014 in a bid to make the brand more relevant to women.
“We set an objective quite a while ago that we realized or we recognized that, I would say sneaker culture, sports culture in…our industry, overall, was probably not serving women in the way that it ought to,” Petrick said. “We felt like there was an opportunity to do a better job of delivering athletic gear and sports style that reflected more accurately the needs of women. So we set about building a strategy that included signing a great ambassador like Rihanna [and] working on collaborative projects with people like Julz. But essentially we said we can help to shape sneaker culture more in a way that reflects the needs of women.”
Julz, by way of example, is already doing that, Petrick said: “She’s been driving sneakers as a style item for women for quite some time. She is very much outstanding in the space of creating culture.” The Snapchat star is also working with Puma on a capsule collection due out in the first half of 2017.
The company internally is led by the mantra of creating products that “fit where the gym meets the runway,” Petrick said. “We’re trying to take influences from both fashion style and the world of culture and bring that directly to high-performance products.”
Petrick, when asked if the footwear brand’s customer base is close to being evenly divided between men and women, said the company is “moving in the right direction.”