PARIS — Puma and Skepta are together for the long haul.
Not only was he tapped as ambassador for the German sports brand in the run-up to its spring 2023 show in New York, but this was just the opening move in a wider creative collaboration that will encompass product design and curation of global marketing campaigns.
What does Puma expects from Skepta?
Nothing short of “helping [the brand] revolutionize [its] progressive space,” according to Puma chief executive officer Björn Gulden.
The executive described Skepta’s future role as multifaceted, owing to the way the musician has become “the embodiment of progression, proven by the impact he has created on music, fashion and culture over the last two decades.”
“He actually represents a lot of things today in the market. He is very connected to the kids and he is creating a lot of impact, not only in music, but also in other areas such as fashion and culture,” Puma Sport Style general manager Maria Valdes told WWD.
The conversation began this summer when Puma approached the music artist and producer to see if they would be a good match for each other. So far Skepta has gone to visit the brand’s archives and headquarters multiple times to discuss the direction the new relationship would take.
And the artist is raring to go. “I’m looking forward to working with the whole Puma team,” he told WWD in an email. “Men’s fashion is progressive and changing fast….I want to put my spin on what the future looks like with Puma.”
Skepta’s role won’t just be highlighting and endorsing Puma’s style-forward lines but also helping the brand “ignite that community to bring talents into place to help us,” Valdes explained, noting that he brought “this credibility, the knowledge and know-how to pick [young talents] and help us push them in the right direction.”
Until the end of 2022 Skepta will be supporting launches that are already in the pipeline, such as a new development in the RS line. Looking to 2023, footwear and apparel projects have been tabled but Valdes declined to discuss specifics, saying it was still early days in the collaborative process.
“For us, it was very important to find someone that has a more [360-degree] approach and that’s where we connected. [Skepta] has a deep knowledge in that same culture and this sense of relevancy, especially in Europe, but then also in other parts of the world [that] will definitely help us,” she continued.
The Puma deal marks the first one signed through Skepta’s Big Smoke Corporation, an organization described in the statement as aiming to “foster and ignite a community of individuals with talents and bring [them] to brands” for partnerships.
And Skepta’s moving fast. Recruitment is already underway, with a first position as senior manager for global campaign creation already out on the Big Smoke Corporation’s Instagram.