"Neymar Jr. embodies
effortless Stylishness!"

PUMA's Creative Director Heiko Desens on Neymar Jr. as PUMA's Style Icon

November 9, 2020

PUMA's Creative Director Heiko Desens on Neymar Jr. as PUMA's Style Icon

November 9, 2020

Sneaker freaker online magazine HighSnobiety published today a feature on PUMA’s most recently signed brand and football ambassador Neymar Jr. – wearing, very surprisingly, a suit and the PUMA Suede rather than his  usual football kicks and performance gear.

CATch up wanted to know more about this unusual approach and spoke to PUMA’s Creative Director Heiko Desens about Neymar Jr.’s stylishness and his role as a style icon.

Trendsetting online magazine HighSnobiety published a feature on Neymar Jr. Today, where he was featured in PUMA  Suede, so in Sportstyle footwear rather than in Football boots. Is Neymar now our new ambassador for Sportstyle?

Neymar Jr. is one of our brand ambassadors and, of course, clearly speaking to a great football audience. He embodies a very unique combination of effortless stylishness and exceptional performance – a combination that we as PUMA claim for us and therefore it isn’t an either or. Neymar Jr. has got street credibility and his fans are strongly inspired by his looks and style. It is a given for PUMA to embrace this sports culture element and work with him in several aspects of our product portfolio. Important is that we stay authentic to his personality and true to PUMA.

Why is the PUMA Suede the key product associated with Neymar in this feature ?

We first associated Neymar with the PUMA King, our classic shoe icon in football. So, it totally made sense to associate Neymar with the PUMA Suede, which is  another Classic icon of our brand. Classics are an ongoing trend in the market and the Suede with its great heritage is a perfect fit to Neymar Jr.’s unique style. The Suede has always been part of styling adventures within subcultures and later on the big movement of street culture. Another good example in our history is Walt Frazer and the PUMA Clyde. Back then, PUMA already broke all rules in traditional styling by mixing sports and fashion unconventionally. Neymar Jr. is the perfect guy to do this again.

A little bit of Dandy Nostalgia!

Heiko Desens

Why was HighSnobiety selected to run this story ?

HighSnobiety is very credible in the eyes of our target consumer. They helped us to pinpoint a direction to showcase Neymar Jr. and PUMA in a very different way. With this HighSnobiety feature, we will get the attention of an opinion-leading crowd, which we have lost contact with a little bit recenctly.

In this feature we see the PUMA Suede combined with more formal apparel. Why did we make this choice ?

HighSnobiety always wants to surprise consumers with unexpected choices. PUMA Suede with its clean design is our most versatile sneaker and it looks amazing when it is taken out of context with high fashion pieces. Streetstyle is something we have mastered and we are fully committed to, but sometimes you need to play with our icon to surprise a different audience. The sleek classic fashion items are a great style for Neymar, almost a little bit of dandy nostalgia and with the PUMA Suede you bring it back into the now, giving it the right street angle.

Why is this important for our overall marketing and product strategy ?

The key word is ‚sports culture’ – athletes are much more than mere sports performers these days. Their lifestyle, what they do and like is equally interesting to their fans. Therefore, PUMA has a great opportunity to participate with all the products and stories we create. We design for sports and the culture around it.

Are you saying that we should do this more often and if so, are there any other plans that you could talk about? Similar projects with other ambassadors or certain style combinations?

I wouldn’t necessary say we should do it more often, but we have to do it, if it feels right and the opportunity is there with the right partner or athlete or artist. We do have some very interesting partnerships coming up and you should stay tuned for other great examples where we will create this very interesting creative tension between PUMA sportswear and, for example, luxury.


Thank you, Heiko.

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