No one can do what Rihanna can. The singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman took the Jay-Z mogul mold and elevated it — even beyond what HOV could. At the height of Kanye’s powers with Yeezy BrandRihanna’s popularity, respect and cultural importance were higher when he did no wrong.
It’s why we are still hotly anticipating a followup to 2016’s ANTI. It’s why people lost their minds when she revealed a baby bump during a Super Bowl Halftime performance. It’s why FENTY continues to be one of the most forward-thinking brands In all of fashion. Rihanna is different.
She was the only one who could save PUMA.
Has PUMA just surpassed Adidas, Nike and New Balance? At least for one week. This week brought the release of PUMA and Rihanna’s latest collaboration == the Fenty x PUMA Avanti, a sneaker so layered with sneakerhead geekery, that I can’t help but be psyched for it.
The sneaker is PUMA and Rihanna’s fourth collaboration, following the Fenty x PUMA Trainer, Fenty x PUMA Fur Slide, and The Creeper, and features a premium leather upper, dual gold foil branding, leather piping, and an attached fold-over tongue in leather, with brown leather lining and a gum outsole. It’s available in two colorways, black and white, and silver chrome.
It’s easy to write this sneaker off as simply a dope design, but it’s actually layered with meaning. The design of the Avanti is a combination of PUMA’s King Football boot, which was worn by legends like Eusebio, Pelé, and Maradona, and the heritage running shoe Easy Rider. It’s a great combination of PUMA classics, but it goes deeper than that, the design of the sneaker makes a sly reference to the Jil Sander King — a collaboration between PUMA and German designer Jil Sander — who was actually the first person to combine the world of high-end fashion and sportswear. It’s a nice way to pay homage to a pioneering female designer.
You might ask yourself: Where can I buy a pair? Unfortunately, no. The sneaker is clean sold out (toddler versions are still available, no you can’t size down into those though), which means if you want to score a pair you’ll have to hit aftermarket sites.