Puma and streetwear powerhouse Rhude join forces once again for a modern reinterpretation of motorsport styles.
Following a successful inaugural collection that launched in fall ’19, the two brands have developed new apparel, accessories and sneakers for the spring ’20 collection; the Puma x Rhude spring capsule drops online at puma.com and rh-ude.com, in Puma and Rhude stores and with select retailers on March 7.
The collection includes a jacket, reversible bucket hat, T-shirt, woven pants, utility vest and one particularly fresh pair of shoes. The heritage style Puma x Rhude Performer features nubuck uppers with nylon inserts and suede overlays as well as a textural formstrip and reflective elements on the toe. Other shoes in the capsule will be an Alteration sneaker and a Ralph Sampson Lo silhouette, both with Rhude design elements implemented throughout.
“I was thinking about developing a sportswear division from my own company and I thought it’d be perfect to initiate that with Puma with a nod to motorsports and everything that has to do with the motor in the prefix,” Rhuigi Villaseñor, Rhude’s founder, told FN at the collab’s launch event in Los Angeles on Feb. 29. “I think for every person there is this kid in them that is really fascinated with motorsports and it’s something I wanted to engage with. There’s an artwork to motorsports and the same applies to design.”
The apparel spotlights reimagined badges, branding and fresh graphics, all in colorways that echo Rhude’s aesthetics, mixing vintage shades with contemporary reflective pieces.
“For me with Puma, a lot of it has been re-interpreting what the brand is about to the new demographic and really explaining the story and the heritage that they’ve had through my eyes,” said Villaseñor. “We are now at a time where we can completely rewrite history and tell stories our own way. Our first collection was a prelude and this is chapter one — there are a lot of chapters to be told.”
With the Performer sneaker, the style incorporates mixed materials drawing inspiration from the rugged elements of motorsports as well as fabrics like monkey suede that Rhude frequents in its silhouettes.
“I wanted to highlight all the new design languages I’ve built for them as far as the logos, the color palettes, and the graphics,” explained the designer. “There is something to be told with color and being so loud and graphic. I did this ombré pink all the way to the 3M [panel] which has never been done before…I see things in a way as if I was painting.”
While Rhude previously has collaborated with Vans on a sneaker collection, too, the California-based brand itself creates its own sleek footwear designs including unique high-top sneakers and bandana-inspired low-top kicks. When asked about what is next for the streetwear brand in the shoe realm, the founder answered: “I think we’re developing the real language. We’ve figured out the air of it, the idea, but now it’s about providing something really exciting.”
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